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Technofiction review of

About Time and Hunger Games (2013)

by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright November 2013

Summary

About Time and Hunger Games are two enjoyable movies. About Time is a nice change of pace from summer's smash and crash, and with some nice internal consistency. Hunger Games has some spectacle and human interest which replace much of the smash and crash.

Details

About Time is a mix of family relations and time travel. The strength of the movie is that the time travel wonder acts like exploring a new technology. It is tightly constrained. This story isn't about end of the world, or clock ticking down, or changing human history, or dating grandma. It's about tweaking the life of one fairly ordinary professional person with a fairly ordinary group of family and friends surrounding him. I love the constraint. It makes the story much more distinctive, and something I can get into.

Hunger Games is a no surprise sequel. The setting and characters are continuing on from where they left off in the first movie. What makes it more interesting than the current Disney/Marvel smash and crash stuff is showing more spectacle than battle and taking some time with human interest issues. These take the movie into some different story telling areas.

This is a social dystopia setting. The root of the dystopia is never clear, and the technology use is inconsistent -- lots of poor people working in factories, but no sign of robotic factories -- but the conflict between frivolous rich and sullen poor is fun to watch. There is some nice imagination displayed in fashion technology and spectacle.

The game itself is highly contrived. But, then again, any reality show is highly contrived. This is just high technology bread and circuses. What is strong in this movie is the portrayal of the various personalities.

Conclusion

These are a couple of movies that depart a bit from the conventional fare of 2013, and they do so in well structured ways. It's good that they have been produced and brought to us.

 

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