Monday, April 9, 2012

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games - 142min – PG-13

I did a post on trailers that were good and bad. The trailer for this movie falls into the good category. They did an excellent job making me interested in seeing the film but did not give anything away. I got goose bumps when the main character broke ranks and volunteered to take her sister's place. I got them from that scene each time I watched it. I have to give this movie a green light because it delivers on what was promised. 

The movie takes place in a post war civilization where the winning side resides in the Capital and the rest of the land of Panem is broken up into 12 districts. Each district selects by lottery a boy and a girl to compete in a fight to the death. The Games are televised and everyone is forced to watch them as a reminder of who is in charge. In District 12 Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers as tribute to save her younger Sister Prim (Willow Shields). She is joined by Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) the male tribute for this session of the games. 

They are brought to the Capital and are trained by Haymitch (Woody Harrelson)a pervious winner from District 12, and presented to their stylist, Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), who is in charge of their image. He helps them make an impression. Together they do their best to survive. 

This movie was outstanding. I was so enthralled with this story that I didn't notice my usual pet peeves. I have never been a fan of the jerky shaky camera shots and this movie has its fair share. These shots were needed because they helped create tension and cover up the fact that we are watching children fight to the death. They did a great job of doing all of the violence off screen. We see a weapon raised a splatter of blood and a limp body. The use of the shaky camera shots were an excellent touch and not overused. 

This movie is definitely close to the book. They did cut some elements but they did a great job of keeping the main plot untouched. You didn’t need to read the books to keep up with the story but if you enjoyed the movie I suggest reading the books to get more in depth with the characters and their history.

The setting reminded me of Firefly, where the capital had advanced technology and the districts were living in Depression-era squalor. Right before the start of the games I was thinking to myself, am I really sitting here watching children kill one another? They did a great job of keep the intensity without glorifying the gore. 

The Director (Gary Ross) was an excellent choice because of his ability to visually tie in emotional connections with the images of the stories he tells. Looking back over his resume and I am a fan of all of the movies he has written. I never realized the connection to all of these beloved movies is because of one man. 

Mr. Ross, Thank you for making the movies you have, they have touched me and sparked in me the love of film I have today. Dave and Big are my favorites, who am I kidding all of them really.

Sorry, had to take a personal moment there after I realized who he was, and the influence he had on my life.

Warring Spoilers!!! May the odds be ever in your favor if you click here. 

Rue (Amandla Stenberg) dying made be cry and the revolt in her district made me want to join in tearing the capital apart. I was so emotionally involved I was drained at the end of it. I am still angry with the whole thing. I have to move on before I get my dander up again.

President Snow is played by Donald Sutherland, and he does evil bad guy well. His menacing comments with Seneca (Wes Bentley) were supremely creepy.

Elizabeth Banks did an excellent job of completely taking the role and becoming something different, I had no earthly idea it was her under the makeup as Effie, I had to look up who she was I could not recognize her at all. Stanley Tucci is the best, nuf said.

Were there changes to this story you did not like, or did you think they left something out that you wanted to see in film? 


Kuunda said...

Man! I must have watched a whole different movie. The girls and I were not impressed at all. The story was not developed enough for people who didn't read the book to know what was really going on. By changing the pin, the whole meaning changed. I think we both need to watch this again! Lol

Fat Samurai said...

I am up for when ever you want to go again. Perhaps Pie after?

Fat Samurai said...

and I never read the book.