Yes I went to see The Hunger Games this weekend. After a lot of pressure from my friends, I read the series last week (3 books in 3 days, but that’s not that uncommon i hear). I was very impressed with the first and second, the third was quite disappointing after the setup from the first 2. An easy read that i recommend for most people. BUT YOU DIDN’T COME TO ‘HEAR’ ME REVIEW A BOOK. I shall refrain from just a comparison to the book, i could but I’m a movie critic for you guys. I just saw it this afternoon, but I’ve only seen it the one time so i might not be as detailed as I’ve been before. I may see it again at which point I might add some more, back to the point:
The Hunger Games
The world is in disarray, what’s left of us is 12 impoverished districts under the rule of the capitol. Enter our heroine: Katniss Everdeen, the names in this series are really bizarre, gotta trust the author. Katniss lives in the EXTREMELY poor twelfth district, in her free time she’s a hunter. Katniss finds herself in the unfortunate situation of representing her district in the Hunger Games, a death match in which 2 kids from each district are forced to compete by the capitol. Katniss and Peeta, her male counterpart must now overcome the odds and come out alive, but all the while be ready to kill each other, after all only one can survive. The whole situation is totally bonkers, a capitol forcing kids to kill each other and keeping all the constituents poor and why? to keep them obedient? right, that situation is a surefire formula for a revolution, wonder what’s gonna happen? The really is a watered-down version of Battle Royale, but that’s not a bad thing. Battle Royale was gritty and obscene to some. This way the same kind of message is conveyed but it’s still in the package of a blockbuster. I do believe it could have been better and more accurate to the book were they willing to go for an R rating, but then they lose a vast majority of the fanbase. All in all it really works, the elements are a bit cliche, but there is flow and the pacing is great, never really a distractingly slow moment.
Acting: This was the portion that impressed me the most, with a single viewing anyways. Jennifer Lawrence already impressed me between X-men First Class and Winter’s Bone, but her counterpart Josh Hutcherson, whom I’ve never seen really acting, managed to keep up marvelously. The two leads felt the parts without a break, their chemistry was great, and these two had to be in love for this film. Most of the remaining cast have rather underdeveloped characters in the movie, which is a shame, many of them had interesting characters in the book and could have been well done in a movie, but there need to be cuts. The one that surprised me the most was Woody Harrelson ad their trainer. His character has some subtle depth that i was worried would be ignored in the film, but Harrelson did a fine job, though they changed the character significantly. Good performances by those that matter.
Visual: With one viewing i haven’t had much time to observe the sights. What sticks out in my mind is some of the camera work. Much of the film is shot from a handheld, quite shaky. Now during the games this fits the mood and action: they’re fighting for their lives in harsh terrain which agrees with and handheld perspective. HOWEVER they use the handheld a lot in the beginning when the mood is tranquil and level. It’s quite disorienting there, took me quite a while to get used to it. Nothing else sticks out so consider this a praise through exception, I’ve not had to attack anything else.
Audio: this one is even thinner. The score by James Newton Howard wasn’t remarkable, but very effective, and that’s enough, many films can’t even have that said about them. The sound effects seemed real enough, This is where I’ll put in more time if I see it again.
Overall: I really liked it, there were some minor but glaring flaws from the books, but many can be justified. That’s better than most adaptations i’ve watched. These books translate well into film, unlike the episodic style of Harry Potter which in my opinion is total rubbish once translated into a movie (takes cover from the fans), It’s still early and plenty of time with this one in theaters. I do recommend it strongly. It’s a solid blockbuster, a great way to head up the Blockbuster rush.
This year looks to be fantastic for blockbusters: Hunger Games, The Avengers, Dark Knight Rises, Prometheus, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (snicker). I’m excited, you should be too
Cya in a few days