Monday, March 26, 2012

The Hunger Games (and News)

Warning: May contain spoilers  
The Hunger Games is a 2012 American dystopian science fiction action-drama film directed by Gary Ross and based on the novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins. It stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth, and Woody Harrelson. It was released on March 21, 2012 in France and other countries and internationally on March 23, 2012 in both conventional theaters and digital IMAX theaters. [Wikipedia]
In 2112, the nation of Panem has risen out of the ruins of what was once known as North America. Due to an unsuccessful uprising by the districts of Panem, a raffle (known as the "reaping") is held to choose one boy and one girl (ranging from ages 12–18) from each of the twelve districts to participate in the Hunger Games, a competition in which each contestant (known as the "tributes") battles until only one is left. The winner or victor receives fame and fortune. The Hunger Games are a yearly reminder to the 12 districts of the Capitol's authority and punishment for their rebellion over 70 years ago in which the 13th district was destroyed.
In District 12, sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) cares for her mother (Paula Malcomson) and her sister Primrose "Prim" (Willow Shields) since her father died in a mine accident when she was 11. Each year, since the age of 12, Katniss' name has been placed in the reaping more than once. In return for taking this extra annual risk, she receives extra grain and oil for her family. In addition, Katniss has been illegally hunting for food outside the boundary fences of District 12 with her friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth), whose father died in the same mining accident.
Prim, now age 12, has her name placed in the reaping for the first time—only once—and it is unexpectedly drawn. Katniss volunteers to replace her sister in the Games. She competes against other tributes, including Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), the male tribute from District 12, who has secretly loved Katniss since childhood and who once showed her a kindness she could never forget. [Wikipedia]

Bear with me, this is a long review, haha, and I have some news at the end.

I'll start off by saying this is an excellent movie (especially in the theater)! Of course not as in-depth as I may have liked (no movie really ever gets as close to the book as we'd like, though the Lord of the Rings was very close), but more emotional than I expected other than in a few areas where the silence didn't seem as epic as I think it was supposed to be (and the excessive shaky-cam scenes).
Movies seem to have more power in the emotional area than most books, because you are actually seeing the pain and anguish on their faces, rather than just reading it.

I won't lie, I all but cried towards the end of the movie, and while Rue's death was the saddest part of the book, there were several parts in the movie that were tear jerkers.

I hear a lot about how popular the book was before the movie was gaining momentum, but I had never heard about it till maybe November last year, and only then because some fan of it invited me to a deviantart group for fans of the books.
Not until the trailers came out did I actually read go and all three books (and in less than 8 hours each, haha). Good series.

Now, a lot of purist fans of The Hunger Games will point out that there are quite a few things in the movie that were slightly different. They took out Madge's character, they shortened a few scenes, they didn't make some of the wounds as bad as they were in the book (Peeta actually gets to keep his leg!), the hallucinations weren't surreal, the scene where Rue died was different, the scene where Katniss finds Peeta by the river didn't have the lines "Are you here to finish me off, sweetheart?", Thresh didn't say "Did you kill him?", etc, etc.
So many small things were shortened, but I don't think it damaged it hardly at all. The upsides are they added in all the awesome tech that the book never mentioned (but make total sense), even made it almost too futuristic, lol, considering that the whole movie is about a girl with a bow and arrows.

Now, on the costumes, sets, and other such stuff. When I saw the trailer I thought that Peeta and Katniss's coal-black presentation suits were a bit.....uhh.....odd, I suppose. After watching the movie I liked them better, but there wasn't quite enough fire, I don't think. XD
Her dress was pretty awesome though, even if she was pretty nervous at the time and they forgot to mention her favorite soup!! (for those of you who don't know, in the book the Host asks her what she liked most when she got to the Capitol, and she said a certain dish of food, that was funny!).

Now, District 12! It looked more wooded than I imagined. Sure, I knew it was in a forested area, but I imagined inside of the city gates to be more town like - with much less trees. Something more bare and flat, where you'd be able to see the populace, not allow them to hide. *shrug*
The set for the Game itself was pretty good, even if the cornucopia was the wrong color, and the set for the Control Room (you can see the concept art for this room HERE. It's pretty awesome.) was very sci-fi and cool.

Now on the the romance. I'm no big fan of romance, but they didn't quite play up to what's in the book here - they kept flashing back to Gale and making us feel bad for him. In the book most of the story telling at that point forgot about Gale and had Haymitch encouraging the mushy stuff for the sake of more sponsors and the fans - which Katniss went along with. Also, in the book Katniss liked both of them, but really did not want any children of her own that could ever be taken away and put into the Games. There is a lot of internal struggle in the book.

According to YahooMovies, it's said that Jennifer Lawrence is contracted to do the movies for the other two books.....but that's only if they make them, I guess. I rather like Lawrence for some reason, even if she doesn't portray Katniss quite as headstrong - and I think she played Mystique decently well in X-Men First Class. In this movie they didn't show much of Katniss's inner turmoil, but I bet that'd be hard to act anyway.
As for President Snow, Donald Sutherland doesn't seem sinister enough of a guy to play that evil of a man - or at least in my head while reading it I made him much creepier.
Now, for the other characters, I liked Cinna better than I thought I would, and Rue was also better than I thought after seeing the trailer, but I still imagine Rue as a petite semi-creepily-beautiful long black-haired French girl or similar - as I did in the book even if that isn't actually what it said in the book, or at least native american. lol. Katniss herself was supposed to be kind of olive skinned if I remember correctly.
Peeta, on the other hand, I don't know. Josh Hutcherson isn't a favorite of mine for some reason, but he played his part well enough.

I also thought the political aspects of the book were interesting, and I saw this article on it if you thought so too:

Other downsides for the book/film would be that it is kids killing kids in a gruesome televised game, which is kind of different than regular violence. I'd also have to agree with Shena Tokala from "Pens, Thespians, and Words" when she mentioned how people are merchandising this film. I really like the mockingjay logo and a bunch of other things (even dressing up like Capitol snobs), but wanting to be a tribute or emulating the Gamemakers is just weird. The Games are a horrid act by the Capitol, and not something taken lightly by anyone but the before-said snobs in the Capitol. That is why in the next books they rebel! (teaser for those who haven't read 'em, haha)
That said, this isn't a little kids movie. As one reviewer put it, "if they aren't old enough to be in the reaping, they shouldn't be watching it.", though that minimum would be 12, and I'd suggest no less than 13.

I'm totally looking forward to the movies about the other books, but I hear Book 2 isn't going to be out into a movie till December 2013. :-/ I bet they are having a huge amount of difficulties with that one, lol, though Book 3 would be even harder.

What's it rated: PG-13 for violence, especially that which is from teen vs. teen.
What do I rate it? 9.1 out of 10! There could be some room for improvement in the next film, so I hope that one gets a 9.9. ;-)
Would I watch it again? Many times! lol

Okay, now to the News!

And that news is that I'm leaving for awhile, and thus won't be able to post for a few months. I hope NuttyNinja picks up the slack 'til I get back. ;-D


  1. It looks like this has lived up to most of the hype, I will probably watch this when it comes out on Blu-Ray. I hope you get back to blogging soon. :)


  2. Really good review! :) I agree, the movie was really good even though there were a few things were changed. And thanks for linking me in the post :).
    Hope you get on blogger soon :)

  3. Do you mind if I use the "Would I watch it again?" part of your reviews in my future reviews? I really like it and I will give you full credit. :)



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