Tag Archives: Twilight Saga

Review: The Hunger But Mainly Death Games

Recap: In a post-apocalyptic world, only one girl stands the chance to win the epic teen death battle against 23 other opponents: Bratniss Everclean. The Hunger But Mainly Death Games is a witty, ridiculous take on the popular Suzanne Collins trilogy The Hunger Games. Instead of Katniss Everdeen, the story follows Bratniss Everclean. While the overall story is basically the same — teenagers fighting each other to death in a nationally-televised event — the parodied version goes to new extremes.

For instance, the fighters kill each other through cannibalism, defecation, and strangulation with intestines. The book is at times grotesque and disturbing. The author seems to have some kind of obsession with defecation throughout the book. The characters often don’t shower, live in garbage, and eat moldy mayonnaise.

But there are other components of the story that are rather brilliant, such as its breaking of the fourth wall, its self-aware quality, and its jokes about young adult teen novels in general — not to mention cracks at Harry Potter and Twilight. It also uses very current pop culture references to make cheap, but hysterical jokes.

Analysis: To be honest, the potty humor and violence throughout the book was too much for me. Though it was funny, it was disgusting. But I also appreciated it in that it was the author’s way of pointing out how ridiculous the actual Hunger Games story is, when you really think about it.

But the highlights were the book’s references to other popular young adult fiction. For instance, the character Hagridmitch. He’s the parodied version of Katniss’s Hunger Games trainer Haymitch, but he’s actually Hagrid from Harry Potter. Somehow stuck in the wrong young adult teen novel, he constantly refers to Bratniss as Hermoine, talking about Harry and dragons. That is, until Oofie (the parodied Effie) stops him to avoid copyright problems. Hagridmitch appears throughout the book and almost always had me laughing. There’s also a scene that references Twilight author Stephenie Meyer in the most hilarious way.

The book also takes jabs at young adult fiction in general — like its emphasis on love stories — in The Hunger But Mainly Death Games, Pita (the parodied Peeta) is a crazy stalker, the popular use of first-person narration and the often ludicrous decisions made by the main characters.

Some fans of The Hunger Games may not like the book. The Hunger But Mainly Death Games, as I said, points out some of the ridiculous aspects of the original novel and obviously, makes fun of it. Some may also not enjoy the level of grotesque jokes. But overall, it’s a funny, quick read that’s sure to make you laugh at least a few times, whether you’re a fan of The Hunger Games or not.

MVP: Hagridmitch, without a doubt. The author was brilliant to include this character that serves as a metamorphosis of Hagrid and Haymitch. After all, the two characters serve virtually the same purposes in both teen series. Hagridmitch was consistently the funniest character in the book, and in a parody, that’s a perfect character.

Get The Hunger But Mainly Death Games now for just $7.79.

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Get The Twilight Saga Complete Collection in Hardcover for $59, Down from $97

If you’re a vampire-obsessed teenager, you like have all the Twilight novels. If you’re the parent of a vampire-obsessed teen, you probably bought them. But just in case, here’s a deal on the complete collection that you can really sink your teeth into. It’s all four books —  Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn in hardcover for just $59, down from $97.

This collection is the ultimate way to learn or re-learn all the details of the crazy love story before the final movie — Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 — is released later this year. Hey, the saga may not have the morals of good vs. evil like Harry Potter, but it’s one heck of a captivating love story.

Get The Twilight Saga Complete Collection while you can.

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Movie vs. Book: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I

By Jenelle Tortorella

Finally, we’ve reached the last installment of what could arguably be called the most popular love story of Generation Y:  Twilight.

Breaking Dawn is the final page-turning, vampire-loving, werewolf-fighting book in Stephanie Meyer’s saga that not only flew off the shelves, but has many a person, young and old, male and female, asking themselves one simple question: Team Edward or Team Jacob?

The books-turned-successful-movie franchise have followed heroine Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), her undead love Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), and best wolfy friend Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), as the trio navigates the realms of mythical creates, forbidden love, and, now, a wedding. The producers of the film wisely chose to split the fourth novel into two movies, giving themselves more time to develop plotlines; despite that, if you haven’t read the books or seen the previous films, you’re going to be lost.

Although many people I’ve spoken with disagree, the first part of the movie is my favorite. Maybe it’s because I was tired of the brooding, teenage-angsty mood that so dominated the first three movies, and finally wanted to smile while watching these films. The wedding is light, joyous, and at times funny.  Bella’s father Charlie Swan (Billy Burke) yet again steals any scene he’s in. There’s some minimal drama — a given with any family gathering — but it’s done well, muted, behind the scenes, and not attention grabbing.  I actually prefer the way the opening to Breaking Dawn Part 1 was done in the film more than it was explained in the book; you’re able to get out of Bella’s head and enjoy a truly beautiful wedding.

We then follow our lovebirds to South America as they begin a honeymoon unlike many: we’re unsure if Bella is going to make it past her wedding night alive — one of the many dangers of marrying a vampire. Spoiler: she does, although the headboard of the bed frame doesn’t. While the backdrop of Isle Esme is breathtaking, I felt that the movie lost some of its pacing here. The length of time spent on the honeymoon in the book is understandable because you’re hearing Bella’s thoughts; in the movie it just feels long.

As the film navigates through the problems that arise following the honeymoon, I think this is where this movie outdoes its predecessors. First, the acting feels much more natural, with each character clearly becoming more comfortable in their roles I hardly cringed at any of the lines. Second, the special effects prove how far this franchise has come with my mental pictures vividly coming alive on screen; ‘disturbing’ doesn’t begin to cover it.

Most importantly, the book is not lost in this film. Sure, there are some plot changes, like a completely unnecessary and random fight between the vamps and wolves, but the core of the story is still there. You feel the joy, pain, loss, and hurt at the decisions the characters are making, as it should be.

In all, this movie captures all of the good and bad of the Twilight saga. Drama-packed, it’s a perfect guilty pleasure. Just make sure you stay for the credits.

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Movie vs. Book: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

In a series that not only focuses on the love between a human and a vampire, but also the hatred between vampires and werewolves, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse breaks the rules.

In the third installment of the successful young adult, fantasy series, Eclipse brings the werewolves and vampires together in order protect their common interest: Bella, of course. Bella’s vampire boyfriend Edward and werewolf best friend Jacob must learn to get over the mythical hatred between their two species to save Bella from the vengeful vampire Victoria. Because Edward killed Victoria’s lover in an earlier book, Victoria wants to inflict the same kind of pain on Edward by killing Bella. So Victoria builds an army of young – and difficult to control – vampires to feast on the beautiful human girl.

With Edward and Jacob working together, the love triangle between Bella and her two loves reaches its breaking point. Bella and Jacob finally kiss, as she admits her love for him.

The Eclipse movie stays true to the novel in terms of plot, and the action scenes are gripping. Chalk it up to good cinematography, soundtrack, and effects. But there’s one flaw in Eclipse that holds true for the other Twilight movies as well. Whereas the movie follows the plot correctly, it doesn’t produce the same emotions about the two male love interests.

In regards to the novel, the reader is immediately smitten with Edward. Like Bella, that initial attraction remains strong throughout the series. We understand the inexplicable connection that binds the two and why she is willing to sacrifice a human life for him. When reading the first novel in particular, I was brought back to my high school days, reminiscing about the boy I would have done anything for. Jacob, in turn, becomes a nuisance in Eclipse.

But in the movie, Edward comes across as controlling, intense, and creepy. Jacob repeatedly explains to Bella that Edward can’t offer her the life of normalcy he would be able to give her. And we, the viewers, find ourselves nodding along with him.

I realized this when I discussed the movie with a friend who had not read the books, but had seen the movies. She was Team Jacob, and I was Team Edward. When I watched Eclipse through her eyes, I understood why she disliked Edward. And that’s the problem with the movie; the viewer should love Edward as much as Bella does – just like in the books.

Eclipse is full of bad acting, and therein lies the problem. Robert Pattison is mediocre; Taylor Lautner is good; but Kristin Stewart is awful. If she emoted her character’s feelings better, we would understand them more.

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