Monday, June 24, 2013

Casting Coin

     First of all, I just realized that Blogger has for some unknown reason stopped sending me notifications when people post comments, so if you've posted a comment on this site and I haven't replied to it, thank you for posting and sorry I haven't replied yet.
Now for today’s post!

WARNING: Spoilers for the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. 

   If you're a Hunger Games fan, then chances are you probably check a lot of sites like Down with the Capitol,, and HGFiresidechat. If you do, then you've also probably noticed that there's been a lot of talk about Alma Coin, the tough military president of District 13 in the final book of the Hunger Games trilogy, "Mockingjay." Nearly every Hunger Games fan site out there has thrown out suggestions of which actress should embody this amazing character.
  So, although I'm not really a fan site centered on the Hunger Games, I thought I'd throw in my two cents.
  First, let's talk about what we know about Coin. She first appears on page 10 of the U.S. hard cover copy of "Mockingjay." Katniss describes her as such, "She's fifty or so, with gray hair that falls in an unbroken sheet to her shoulders... Her eyes are gray, but not like those of people from the Seam. They're very pale, as if almost all the color has been sucked out of them." Already she sounds a little bit dangerous.
  We also know that at first, everyone trusts her. Katniss doesn't necessarily like her, but she doesn't kill her immediately, which is a good sign. That not only means that the actress assigned to play Coin must get the audience to trust her, but that she still has to seem dislikeable enough that when Katniss kills her, they aren’t so taken back that the whole thing becomes unbelievable and they find it cheesy, or think that the writers needed something else to shock the audience, got lazy, and decided to kill someone off randomly.
   That's probably the biggest problem with some of the fan casts for Coin. A lot of people are trying to get actresses that played villains into him past, to play a villain in this movie. If you saw the Wicked Witch of Narnia on screen playing Coin, you'd probably realize immediately that she was up to no good, and be shocked when any of the characters trust her.
  So, no. I'm sorry. No villains please. Don't give away the ending.
  There's also the opposite problem that the characters might trust her too much. If the audience trusts Coin too much, grows to care for her, and is head over heels for her, when Katniss shoots her, no one will be thrilled. Plus, if Coin doesn’t act suspicious enough, it'll seem pointless to kill her in the first place, and her whole character looses its purpose.
  So what actor can act sincere enough to get the audience to trust her while still kindling a spark of suspicious in the back of their mind?
  The fist actress that pops into my head is Alex Kingston. I've only seen her in Doctor Who (and I'm still only on the 6th season,) but she seems perfect for the role. Admittedly, she doesn't quite look the part--her hair doesn't fall in a perfectly straight sheet--but the makeup department can work that out;
  Think about it. The more you see her in Doctor Who, the more you know something's up with her, and the more you suspect she may not always have the best intentions in mind. Despite that, you can't help but trusting her with the Doctor's life.
  And that's exactly what Coin needs to do. She has to be a strong leader, who can convincingly play a woman willing to sacrifice anything for the greater good of the people while still seeming ruthless, and a little bit crazy.
    Anyways, that's my little rant about casting Coin. What actress do you think should play Coin, and why? Do you think Alex Kingston would make a good Coin? What else makes a good Coin? Leave a comment!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Book Review: "Legend" and "Prodigy" by Marie Lu


     Once again I apologize for my leave of absence. I've been locked out of Blogger for about a month, now, (blame the pesky internet rats that lurk in every corner, demolishing websites, stealing passwords, and creating chaos) and thus couldn't post anything.
     While I was locked out, though, I had plenty of time to read. This brings me to my subject for today--
     Hey Hunger Games fans! Looking for a new exciting action-y dystopian book with interesting characters and a great plot? Look no further than Marie Lu's two books "Legend" and "Prodigy."
     When I first heard of "Legend," I can't say I was very keen on starting it. The plot seemed unoriginal and the characters sounded stereotypical. Despite that, I picked it up at the library one day and forced myself to read it.
     Then it got awesome.
     The story is based on Valjean and Javert from "Les Mis," with a hard core police officer type guy chasing after a slippery criminal. Change Javert to a high ranking teenage female military officer with a revenge wish named June, and Valjean to an infamous teenage boy named Day, and already things are interesting. Add in a mysteriously deadly plague, a sweet little sidekick for Day, and an undercover mission that goes wrong--well, it's already looking like a bestseller.
     Marie Lu really brings all the characters to life, making each flawed and loveable, and leaving the reader unable to choose which side to root for--June's or Day's.
     The story is set years into the future in LA, still standing in the remains of North America after the poles melted, causing North America to flood. (Sound familiar, Hunger Games fans?) And while there are no white roses, or District 12s, the book ranks up there with other famous titles like "Divergent," "Delirium," and "Hunger Games."
     Basically the plot of the story is Day trying to get a bottle of plague cure (for what reason, I will tell you not) and while trying to steal one, harms a top ranked soldier named Metias, brother of our other main character, June. However, angering June was not a smart move, for June is also a top solider who stops at nothing to meet her goals. She begins to track down Day, and--
     Well, as River Song would say "Spoilers!" 
     And now for a cliché and cheesy book review ending that you will probably hate: If you want to find out what happens next, pick up the book and read.