Category Archives: Free Time

All kind of things I do in my free time

Movie of the Week: The Hunger Games

After seeing a trailer for The Hunger Games I was immediately interested in this story. It reminded me of the Bread and circuses strategy used by the Romans to appease their population. I therefore ordered the three books of the The Hunger Games trilogy and read all of them in a few weeks. Last weekend Silke and I went to the cinema to watch the movie adaption.

The Hunger Games is set a few hundred years in the future. After an apocalyptic war a single large city is left in North America. It is the capitol of Panem and rules over twelve districts, smaller human settlements that provide the capitol with resources like food and energy. As punishment for a rebellion against the capital 74 years ago the districts have to take part in the Hunger Games each year. One male and female tribute between the age of 12 and 18 from each district are chosen via a lottery. All the twenty four tributes have to fight each other in a massive open air arena. The games last until only one of the tributes is left alive.

When Katniss Everdeen’s little sister Primrose is chosen Katniss volunteers to take Primrose’s place as the female tribute for district 12. She does that knowing very well that she is mostly likely going to die in the arena. Together with Peeta Mellark, a boy from the same district, Katniss is immediately sent on her journey to the capital. Their only ally is Haymitch Abernathy, the only surviving district 12 tribute. But as Haymitch is a drunk Katniss’s and Peeta’s situation is desperate.

The movie is a decent adaption of the novel. There are of course parts of the book’s story missing but the essence has been preserved. The movie is also less violent than the original, probably to get an age 12 rating. Jennifer Lawrence‘s performance as Katniss Everdeen is very good which is key to making the film work.

I can definitely recommend watching the The Hunger Games. It’s a good movie based on an excellent book which provides both action and food for thought.

New Year’s resolution

My New Year’s resolution for 2012 was:

  1. Lose some weight.
  2. Save the galaxy from the Reaper invasion.

I achieved some progress on the first part and lost a few kilos so far. Naturally not as many as I hoped for but my weight is definitely going down.

I have however fulfilled the second part by finishing the single player campaign of Mass Effect 3 today. The Galaxy is once more save. No reapers, no Sith and nothing else lurking out there.

Let’s hope that will change soon. 🙂

Game of the Month: Dead Space

A good horror movie requires craftsmanship: you need just the right amount of suspense, scare, suggestion, open terror, action and of course good visual effects. If anything is missing or the balance isn’t right you get something which is cheesy, gory, laughable or all of the above. The same rules apply to horror computer games. There are a lot of them, but only a few are masterpieces.

Dead Space is such a masterpiece: a third person shooter set on a gigantic starship drifting through space. Your character Isaac Clarke has to fight his way through a nightmarish maze of dark corridors and find a way off the doomed ship. Most of the crew members have been killed and turned into horrible monsters called Necromorphs. Their relentless attacks turn Isaac’s odyssey into a merciless struggle for survival.

The game rivals a good horror movie: gloomy atmosphere, scarce lighting, creepy sounds and things moving in the shadows. The references to Aliens and Starship Troopers are unmistakable. You know that there is a monster lurking around the next corner because you can hear it. But when the monster finally attacks from just the direction you didn’t expect the game still makes you jump.

If you like a game with an interesting plot, tough fights and a good scare you should definitely try Dead Space. I loved and hated it, both at the same time.