Friday, March 23, 2012

Special Review - The Hunger Games Movie

I know.  You are probably all like:
"Wait, what?  A movie review?  This is a writing and book blog gosh darn it!"

*Insert angry southern accent*

Last night I went and watched the midnight showing of The Hunger Games with my sisters-in-law.  Got there at 7, sat around for about 5 hours... And after finally settling down in our comfy chairs, after finally watching this movie we have been waiting for, I decided I would write a quick review on it.

It is based off a book.  A book I thoroughly enjoyed.  So there.

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The Hunger Games

Based off The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Running Time: 2 hr 22 min
Rating: PG-13

Synopsis: (from Fandango)
Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which "Tributes" must fight with one another until one survivor remains. Sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her younger sister's place to enter the games, and is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy when she's pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives. If she's ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

My Thoughts:
If you haven't heard of The Hunger Games, then you must have been a hermit hiding under a rock for the last few months.  Hype for this movie has been building, and all of the loyal readers of the best-selling trilogy have been on pins and needles to see this story come to life.

Overall, I enjoyed this big screen adaptation.  I felt it stuck true enough to the story to do it all justice.  (Unlike other movies that hack the story to so many pieces you have no idea what you are even watching.)  Naturally, certain aspects of the story were cut to fit it all into a 2 hour movie.  The missing pieces though were more of the nonessential bits.  It all worked out.

I feel the casting for this movie was great.

Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss) is a talented actress who portrayed Katniss pretty dang close to how I pictured her when devouring the book.  Her humility, intense love for family, and drive to survive was evident every second of the film.  Josh Hutcherson (Peeta) didn't fail either.  While I didn't know what to expect (I haven't seen much of this actor) he ended up delivering a believable Peeta, down to the crowd pleasing smiles and ga-ga for Katniss eyes.

My favorite?  Woody Harrelson (Haymitch)  I really wasn't sure what to expect from him in this role, but man did he deliver.  The rest of the cast did amazing as well, but I don't need to list it all. You get the picture.

And I just have to mention:  The Capitol.  Strange, eccentric, creepy, and outright awesome.  Color anyone?

Now, you might be asking why the lower rating?

A major thing that deters me from shows is the shaky camera trick.  You know, when it looks like they handed the camera to a sugar-high toddler and told them to tromp through the woods.  This movie was all over that technique, and I didn't like it.  I want to feel like I spent my money on a professional production.  Not a home-made movie.  There were a few times I literally felt cross-eyed.  Uhg.

Also, and this is just me: I feel like if the viewer hasn't read the book, they will not get the full impact of the movie.  While the acting is good, great at times, it does speed through the story line, making you feel like you need to take a deep breath just to catch up.

Plus, I wanted more action.  Come on, it's an arena where the kids are forced to kill each other.  You can't tame that down.  I have seen Battle Royale.  I can take it.

It wasn't everything I was hoping for.  But it was horrible either.
It was good.  It just wasn't totally great.

Like I said:  I enjoyed this movie.  While it may not be one that I am dying to buy another ticket for and see over and over again in theatres, I will for sure be adding it to my DVD collection once it is available for the snatching.

If you liked The Hunger Games, or are just plain curious about what all this hype is, I say go watch it.

And may the odds be ever in your favor.

My Rating:
(3 out of 5 stars)

4 comments:

Georgia Summers said...

Just saw The Hunger Games tonight and I definitely agree with your statement about the camera shake. There were only one or two times that I noticed it to the point of distraction, though. The reason they cut down on the gore was because of the 12A rating. It was originally a 15, but if they'd released it as a 15, then a lot of the fanbase wouldn't actually be able to have seen it.

Amy said...

Great review! I have to agree that while I enjoyed the movie, I just didn't love it as much as the book. I'm sure it''l grow on me as I watch it again when it comes to video, same thing happened with Twilight. My husband went with me and since he didn't read the book, he was kind of confused by most of the end.

Thank you for sharing! :)

Julie Maughon said...

I would highly recommend seeing it a second time. My love for it grew exponentially. Also, a friend of mine who hasn't read the book said that she loved the movie and could follow it 100%. So that's good to know.

Live, Love, Laugh, Write! said...

You're not the only one who thinks non-readers won't get the full impact of the movie. There were several things that really confused him because he hadn't read the book. The biggest was Rue, because Katniss goes from being stoic to breaking down over Rue's death and they did very little to show why Rue was so important to her and that it made her think of Prim.

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