The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Wildcat Book and Movie Reviews

Book: The Hunger Games

Though the first book in the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins was published in 2008, the upcoming movie, to be released March 23, 2012, necessitates a book review.

The novel follows the life of Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl living in a futuristic dystopia called Panem, which occupies North America. The country is controlled by President Snow and a cruel group of affluent policy-makers called “The Capitol.” Every year, they put on a contest called “The Hunger Games,” in which 24 children aged 13-18 are forced to fight to the death, with one victor to win eternal glory and abundant food for their families.

The book is accessible to both genders and is a page-turner for its young adult audience. The story, while accurately mimicking a teenage voice, illustrates Katniss’ very mature internal struggles over protecting her loved ones.

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Though Collins’ work might not be considered classic literature – the writing style is repetitive and generic at times – the book is certainly fast-paced with attention-grabbing content and compelling love stories. As long as you’re not expecting the next Great American novel, I would definitely recommend The Hunger Games. The rest of the series is just as enthralling as the first book, so I would suggest buying all three at once.

Movie: The Debt

When I asked several friends if they’d seen “The Debt” yet, they thought I was referring to the National debt, and I received very puzzled looks at my excitement about it. But the movie incited so many emotions – of suspense, horror, triumph and longing – that I just had to spread the word.

The plot surrounds three agents from Mossad (the Israeli equivalent of the CIA) whose mission is to capture Dieter Vogel, the “Surgeon of Birkenau,” a Mengele-like Nazi who committed many gruesome crimes during the Holocaust. They go to East Berlin with a risky plan to capture Vogel in traditional Mossad fashion. The cast – especially the actresses who play young and old Rachel Singer (Jessica Chastain and Helen Mirren, respectively) – holds the movie together with the element of human emotion, and Vogel, played by Jesper Christensen, is exactly the Nazi that you want to hate.

The movie is a remake of the 2007 Israeli film “Ha Hov” (which translates to “The Debt”), but the Americanized version, helmed by John Madden, is also superbly filmed. With a combination of beautiful cinematography, impressive acting, and several heart-wrenching, poignant scenes, “The Debt” is definitely a must-see. And if you’re not into any of that, you could always just go to the movie to stare at Sam Worthington for two hours, which would still not be a waste of your time.

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