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Review

The Mary Sue’s Hunger Games Review


Ladies and gentlemen. We had the chance to see a sneak preview of the Lionsgate adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games this week. Should fans of the book series be concerned? Will audiences going in cold enjoy the film? Is the highly-publicized hype true? Read on to find out! 

In order to accurately review this film, I feel like I should cater to the two, very distinct, viewers who are considering going to see it – those who’ve read the books and those who haven’t. I’ll separate the sections so that you can choose to read whichever parts apply to you, or all of them if you’d like to get more insight before you head to the theater. Any spoilers will still be covered for your protection. And without firther ado, may The Mary Sue’s Hunger Games review commence!

Part One – If You’re New To The Hunger Games

Although Collins’ novels are best-sellers (in fact, she’s the top-selling author on Kindle), not everyone has read them. Here’s my one plea to you before I proceed: If you haven’t, you really, really should. I’ve talked with several folks who aren’t regular readers and they flew through the book in a weekend or less.

Those who haven’t read the book shouldn’t be worried. The Hunger Games does a great job at world building and character development. The film is action-packed without sacrificing story and you’ll find yourself quickly pulled into a world not as far off from our own as you’d probably like.

The story centers on Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her life in District 12, a section of Panem, a post-apocolyptic version of the United States. Katniss’ district produces coal for all of Panem and is the poorest area of them all. Along with her mother and sister, Katniss lives a meager existence that she helps supplement by hunting in nearby woods with a bow and arrow. Besides simply surviving, Katniss and all the other children under eighteen in the twelve districts much live with a pendulum above their heads, not knowing when it might drop. Panem’s Capitol holds an annual event called the Hunger Games to remind citizens that uprisings will not be tolerated. And what exactly are the Hunger Games? Two children, one boy, one girl, from each district are chosen at random to compete as tributes in a fight to the death against the other children. There is only one winner. Oh, and did I mention the games are televised as entertainment? The concept, while frightening enough, is even more vulgar when you consider we’re not exactly that far off in terms of our current society’s obsession with reality television. It’s called a game but it’s deadly serious and the film doesn’t shy away from the implications.

Besides the concept, which in and of itself is something hard to look away from, what’s there to love about the film? Just about everything. Director Gary Ross did excellent work crafting the world and deftly handled the somewhat sensitive nature of the film (kids killing kids) while not shying away from the implications. But I’d have to say the biggest strength of the Hunger Games were the actors. I’ve only previously seen Lawrence in X-Men: First Class and was absolutely blown away by her performance here. She shows both sensitivity as well as strength while making the situation her character finds herself in completely believable.

Josh Hutcherson (The Kids Are All Right) is equally believable as Katniss’ fellow tribute. While he’s in the same position as she is, it affects him in a completely different way and seeing his defense mechanisms is intriguing. The other stand out in the cast for me wasn’t one of the other tributes but Stanley Tucci’s Caesar Flickerman, the outlandish host who’s job it is to interview the children before the games commence. Yes, he’s part of the Capitol machine but he’s used to great effect as almost a bridge between the two very different worlds. And Lenny Kravitz? Yeah, he was pretty cool too.

Yes, The Hunger Games is based on a book, a book in which of course we see everything through the eyes of the main character. The film thankfully branches outward to show things Katniss isn’t privy to and which only serve to enhance the plot. It’s a dynamic story, told by an obviously passionate director who led a remarkable set of actors through a spectacular journey. I was curious as to how much would be shown with a PG-13 rating. At first it seems the violence and gore are glossed over with quick edits but there were several times the brutality is shown in full view. Beware of that if you decide to take younger children who haven’t read the book.

Part Two – If You’ve Read The Book

Guy. Guys. GUYS!

The Hunger Games was awesome. I say that as a highly-critical fan who’s very picky when it comes to adaptations. Things are cut for obvious reasons but very few things are changed and even less of the creative decisions make any significant change to the source material. Yes, it’s hard to see things you loved from the book glossed over or completely ignored but let me tell you, by the end of this movie, you won’t care.

I’ll discuss a few specific areas that might be sensitive to readers. I will cover some spoilers here for those who don’t want to know specific beats from the film. The first big change I noticed was the absence of the Avox girl caught in the woods in front of Katniss and Gale. We see several Avox in the movie but that particular subplot doesn’t get flushed out at all, which to me is a shame, as a brief mention of even who they are and why they are could have proved to the audience even further the lengths the Capitol goes to in order to extinguish rebellion.

A lot of details are left out for time sake (even though the film is a very-excellent two hours and twenty minutes long). We see only a handful of gadgets and Capitol extravagances but it doesn’t hurt the film not to have more. There was only one thing left out that bugged me and that was a particular plot point from the end of the book. The mutated dogs that are released on the remaining tributes are in the film, and quite vicious, but it’s not even remotely suggested or discernible that they have been created from the genes of the fallen tributes. That was one of the greatest examples of how screwed up these people were in the books and I was disappointed it wasn’t included (though I can see how it would have been difficult to get across).

That being said, my only other disappointment is how little we saw of some of our favorite characters. Gale, Haymitch, Effie, and Cinna and his crew are all fantastic but there wasn’t nearly enough of them. You get their connection to Katniss, their concerns and trouble but in the scheme of things, they aren’t who this story is about and that’s reflected in their screen time. But what we do see of them truly represented who they are (Haymitch could have been a bit drunker), so for that I’m pleased. Lawrence couldn’t be more Katniss if she tried, you’ll fall in love with Hutcherson’s Peeta immediately, and Donald Sutherland’s President Snow is just menacing enough to know he’s going to be big trouble later on. And Katniss’ fellow tributes? Of course we don’t get to learn a great deal about most of them but the Careers get some great scenes. And Rue. Tiny actress Amandla Stenberg is the tribute from District 11 without a doubt. Prepare yourself.

Part Three – If You Think The Hunger Games Is Like Twilight Or Battle Royale

Ok, I know I originally said I was only going to break the review into two sections but in keeping with Collins’ sectioning of the novel itself, I decided to go with three. And for good reason. There’s a lot of people under the impression, whether it be from marketing or word of mouth, that The Hunger Games falls into the same category as the Twilight franchise. Yes, it’s based on a successful young adult book series but that is exactly where the comparisons end. Is there a possible love triangle in the film? Yes but trust me when I say that is definitely not the first thing on Katniss’ mind. She is not Bella Swan.

And as to the comparisons between The Hunger Games and the Japanese manga/book/film Battle Royale? They start from a very similar concept, children fighting children to the death, but that is where the comparisons end. Same general idea, completely different paths in execution. And that’s all I have to say about that.

The Hunger Games lived up to the hype it’s been getting and I’m happy to be able to add to it. This film will make millions and millions of dollars not just because it’s based on a beloved novel but because it’s a truly entertaining and expertly crafted in all areas.  I’m certain that at least 95% of Collins’ fans will be happy with how the film was adapted and 100% sure that those who haven’t read it will finally come to realize why the rest of us are so obsessed.

The Hunger Games hits theaters across the country tonight. Come back and let us know what you thought!

Previously in The Hunger Games

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  • http://twitter.com/ShipLives Matt Shipman

    It’s a good review and everything, but I was REALLY hoping for another of Amanda LaPergola’s hand-written, illustrated reviews. Like the one done for “Breaking Dawn”: http://www.themarysue.com/best-breaking-dawn-review/

    Please make this happen.

  • Nick Simmonds

    I, um.  I didn’t *like* the book.  I can see why someone might, but I was really just bored throughout it, and couldn’t make it more than a few pages into the second.  I feel like there’s something wrong with me, given the effusive praise t gets from people I respect.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Haha, I love those too. Perhaps we can convince her down the road.

  • http://tmirai.deviantart.com/ Talia

     To be honest, Nick, my feelings toward the books are luke warm as well. I won’t say I don’t like them. I like the books just fine (I’m in the end of the second). I think they are entertaining enough and well written (though my main qualm IS with the writing and presentation of the story), but I wouldn’t put them among my top favorite books or even say that I love them. I probably won’t even buy them or re-read them like I do my most treasured stories.

    I am, however, really excited for the movie. I think it’s going to be a great adaptation.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R7GVNIKWG3S2UTHEQOMSZXT4M4 Anna B

    Too bad with the mutant dogs.  That was important to me, too, but I can
    understand why they left that out. It might confuse folks in the audience who have not read the books and might even be distracting. It’s clear enough, anyway, that a government that organizes a game where kids must kill each other for the world’s entertainment even if most of the kids are terrified of the prospect is pretty damn screwed up without having to show what they do with genetic manipulation.

    Besides, I think President Snow–at least in latter movies if not this one, will do just fine illustrating how fucked up the Capitol is.

  • http://revolvingdoorcommune.wordpress.com Teresa Jusino

    In a recent Entertainment Weekly article about The Hunger Games, they wrote about “4 Things You Won’t See in The Hunger Games movie” and the things you mentioned were on that list. So, I’ve been able to mentally prepare myself! :) Also, having the creators give reasons for the cuts made me feel better. Needless to say, a lot of it is in preparation for the rest of the film franchise. Because there WILL be more films! :) And a lot of the stuff that’s missing now has just been rearranged for later films.

    I’ve got tickets to a midnight screening tonight! Can’t wait! :)

  • rachel c

    I thought that the Avox girl was caught in front of Katniss and GALE in the woods, not Katniss and Peeta. I could be really wrong though, since it has been a few months since I read the books. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=681460421 Lauron Haney

    As someone who just finished a reading of the first book yesterday: You’re right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1208921 Nikki Lincoln

    If you like Jennifer Lawrence, you really should see Winter’s Bone. It doesn’t really fit in the genres covered by this site but she was nominated for an Academy Award for it a couple of years ago. I think it may have been her break-out role… but in either case, the character is actually very similar to Katniss and Jennifer nailed that one too. 

    So excited to see this movie – have tickets for Saturday!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/sithwitch Lauren

    There’s nothing wrong with you. Not everything is for everybody. Despite some problems with the prose, I liked them. That said, when it comes to YA with a female lead, I prefer Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy or (despite dreaded vampire presence) Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampire series. But I like that it’s opening dialog ABOUT YA with a female lead, and bringing awareness that books can be marketed to all ages with a female lead, and most importantly that YA isn’t all vampires, werewolves, and high school.

    But I get where you’re coming from. I’ve got plenty of friends who love the books way more than I like them, and plenty of friends who just couldn’t get past the writing and hate Katniss as a character. It takes all sorts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/efern86 Emily Elizabeth Fern

    Thanks for the great review!  I was reading a few negative reviews on rottentomatoes.com and started to get worried so I stopped.  You review has renewed my excitement.  Can’t wait to see it Friday night!

  • http://www.thegeekandinkwell.com/ Michelle

    I’m encouraged by this review – thanks! Can’t wait to go see the movie tomorrow night!

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    I’ve heard really good things about that movie (that it’s great but really depressing) and that Lawrence almost has a Katniss vibe about her in it.

  • John Wao

    I heard that book one is great but books two and three kinda suck. Is this true?

    In any event I plan to see the movie next weekend.

  • Carrie A

    The mutant dogs were the one thing I had the biggest problem with in the book – for me they just jarred a bit and I wasn’t really “convinced” by them.  So I’m actually quite glad they’ve taken a slightly different route with them!  I’m not really sure why I couldn’t get on board with them but I just couldn’t.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the first book (the next two slightly less so) but like someone above said, they didn’t become a huge favourite.  However I’m really looking forward to the film because I remember thinking at the time of reading how well it would translate to screen!  I think because the book isn’t so precious to me I’m probably more open to them missing bits and pieces out.  Am I correct in thinking Madge doesn’t feature in the film either?

  • Anonymous

    I thought book two was just as good as book one. I am part of a rare crowed that really liked book three. To me, Collins did an excellent job portraying what a girl in Katniss’ situation would say and do. Without revealing too much, Katniss isn’t as active in the third (I think she has some PTSD), and I think that bothers some people. There is no arena so the pacing is very different and we see a side of Katniss that was not explored a lot in the first two.

  • http://tmirai.deviantart.com/ Talia

    I think, over all, Katniss is a very believable young teen female character. There is a lot about her that I love, one of which is that she is not a female character dependent on romance or the validation and affection of a man (like Bella in Twilight). She stands on her own and she has her own convictions that change and develop as the books progress. She’s very human. She’s not overly attractive, perfect, or overly confident. She has doubts, fears, insecurities, and the like. That is one thing that I love about the book and give respects to Collins for: she knows how to write a great female character that can stand on her own.

    As far as the books go, I agree one and two are about as good as the other. I feel the same about one as I do two.

  • Anonymous

     That movie was well-produced, but damn–SO hard to watch. I wouldn’t recommend it to a general audience, but a movie buff will appreciate it.

  • http://vita-ganieda.livejournal.com/ Ganieda

    It’s bleak, but I don’t think it’s really depressing, at least in that it lets you feel good about humanity instead of terrible. But it probably depends on where your buttons are; I’ve got friends from rural Appalachia who wouldn’t touch it, just too close to home. Also, Lawrence is incredible, the visuals are gorgeous, and the gender dynamics are really interesting. You should see it! 

  • http://twitter.com/ironduck Addie/Annie D

    *SPOILER ALERT*

    I enjoyed the books (couldn’t put them down till I was finished with them) but the movie felt like there were scenes that didn’t need to go that long and then there were scenes that should’ve been longer. 
    I’m surprised that no one bothered to comment about how Katniss received the Mockingjay pin. It even shows it in the trailer that she tries to give it to Prim. 

    There’s a lot of issues with the movie. If you haven’t read the book then a lot of scenes won’t make sense to you.

    End of Spoiler Alert

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BRCBPARG7SBSXMYYV2TJCNZWAQ Nope

    This series is such a rip off of Battle Royale!

  • http://www.facebook.com/alice.tordoff Alice Tordoff

    Slight Spoiler for book fans and those who haven’t read it:

    They played up Gale’s role in the film. Not necessarily a bad thing but… After the first moment of intimacy between Katniss and Peeta (with Gale on looking) they didn’t really need to do another shot of that. We get it, its awkward, some sort of relationship problem is going to happen.

    Also wish they’d left the sleep syrup bit in and the bit where Katniss thinks Peeta is too loud for hunting.

  • John Wao

    Thank you both for your input. I’ll give them a try they’re on sale everywhere. It won’t hurt to read them.

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    Hm… I must have missed the part in Battle Royale where there was a dystopian future and political uprisings and so forth… 

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    I enjoyed the film.  I do wish some of the characters got some more screen time though.  And there probably should have been a leetle bit more emphasis on the politics.  I’m just not sure if I would have gotten some of the story if I hadn’t read the book.

  • http://polkadotsandsparkles.wordpress.com/ beks sparkles

    yes i didn’t like that either – it sort of lost the significance of what the mockingjay is if she just found it at a market stall
    i think they’re going to have difficulties with that in the third film

  • Amanda Burke

    My greatest problem with the movie was that I find myself really feeling for any of the characters. Which is strange, since these are some of my favorite books and I’m a bit invested in them. I just wasn’t invested in the characters on screen.

  • http://twitter.com/wemustntdwell88 Jen

    SPOILERS !
    There were a few things I think should’ve been left in/changed: I was looking forward to seeing the ladders to the hovercrafts just because I thought it would be cool with the electric charge keeping them attached to it, the sleeping syrup should’ve been left in, the muttations seemed far too mountain lion-ish.. I pictured them more wolf like plus the whole human trait thing was important enough that it should’ve stayed, Katniss’ burn was on her calf not her thigh in the book (I think they did that in the movie to make her and Peeta have mirror/matchy wounds though), The whole lack of Avox storyline, I agree about the need to stop cutting to Gale.. we understand there’s a love triangle! Cutting back to him took me out of the moment with Katniss/Peeta and was annoying, and finally the scene with the crown.. I felt it was symbolic when they split the one crown into two and they didn’t do it in the movie, it wouldn’t have taken any more time to do it so I’m not sure why they didn’t.. wish they had though! I agree the meaning behind the mockingjay pin was pretty removed since they redid how she got it in the first place, but I liked how they had it as more of a tie in to her sister, timewise I understand how cutting Madge out made sense though. Over all it was a really great movie even with those changes, Jennifer Lawrence was amazing, the girl who played Rue was fantastic and I can’t wait for Catching Fire & Mockingjay!

  • janalyn.glover

    As for what got left out, what got changed and what could’ve been improved, I have but four words: Blu-ray Director’s Cut, Unrated. I’m seriously convinced that a lot of what didn’t make it in or got changed for the movie was due to studio and market pressure to make it a PG-13. There’s a lot of people, especially after ‘Harry Potter,’ who think movies based on YA can’t be R and make money, and due to some annoying parents who don’t read and have a ridiculously overprotective streak, they tend to be right.

    So why is there only the choice between ‘watered-down to the point of lost meaning’ PG-13 and ‘Beatrix Kiddo gore-fest’ R? Older readers who pictured a lot more blood and rather scarier creatures are left feeling cheated when the lower rating is made, and younger readers rarely have the option of seeing it if they make it the higher one because their parents automatically assume ‘R Means Never For Kids,’ which is just silly in some cases. I like R ratings keeping kids out of movies when it means they won’t talk over it, but some bright children who’ve read the book or researched the subject and demonstrated to their folks that they handle things maturely DESERVE their midnight premiere of a socially important film, that bit of blood, smut or nudity and the experience of seeing what grownups do…otherwise, what incentive does anyone have to better themselves in their choice of media? We all know at least one sheltered kid who never saw above a PG in his life who then became a ‘Saw’ fan in college and never bothered to pick up a book that wasn’t assigned because his folks wouldn’t let him try ‘Harry Potter’ or ‘Goosebumps’ when all his friends did. Violence and sex will NOT harm a kid’s psyche all that badly if it’s presented in terms they can learn from and understand, whereas sheltering them too much is setting them up for worse trauma later. If you never challenge children, they never grow.

    Frankly, I think the current rating system is ridiculous. You see the kerfuffle going on over ‘Bully’ getting an R and if you’re old enough, you can remember the mess when ‘Jurassic Park’ got a PG-13 despite toy marketing out the yin-yang. A system closer to the TV and video game ratings, where the rating tells you not just the recommended age, but EXACTLY WHY (and I know they have little inclusions now, but they’re printed very small and are frequently overlooked or ignored,) would let parents know “this one is hell of violent, but if your kid read the book, they might be okay,” or “See it yourself first, then you can tell your kid when to shut their eyes.”

    My parents, rich in wisdom that they were, insisted I read Crichton’s novel before being allowed to go and see ‘Jurassic Park’ in theaters; probably assuming I wouldn’t, and when I managed it and passed an interrogation on the plot, they saw it themselves first and let me know when it was about to get scary so I had the option to shut my eyes. I was in second grade at the time and finishing that book in one week made me a much faster and better reader because I was DETERMINED to see that movie after all the toy marketing and the fact that most second-graders are wanna-be paleontologists. By fifth grade they were signing waivers at the theater to let me see R-rated films that they considered educational, and to this day, I’m a voracious consumer of socially-relevant books and films.

    A better rating for ‘The Hunger Games’ could be “Parental Guidance to age Thirteen for Violence With a Redeeming Social Context,” abbreviated ‘PG-13:V,RSC’ or something along those lines, and once parents were retrained, they could have made it an R and still made money. Conversely, ‘Kill Bill Vol.1′ would be ‘R: V,S, NRSC,” and ‘Schindler’s List’ would be ‘R: V,S,ERSC,’ with the acronyms being ‘No’ and ‘Extremely’ Redeeming Social Context respectively. There could also be a letter ‘B’ for ‘based on a book,’ or ‘H’ for ‘based on history’ and parents could be told ‘read the book or a summary thereof and then make your decision.’ You could even assign RSC for religious themes (the Bible has tons of sex and violence,) and TCN for ‘thematic content by necessity’ where the story is not tellable without the objectionable content in question, like ‘The Color Purple.’

    Or, y’know, parents could actually RESEARCH what their kids watch by reading a hundred-word review instead of expecting a single letter on a poster and/or the poor kid at the multiplex to tell them what to let their kid see, panicking when the system isn’t perfect and ruining things for everyone else. I’m always fascinated to notice how the parents who challenge their kids to try stronger content in the context of education have mature, sensible kids with advanced comprehension skills, whereas the ones who freak out if their sprog sees so much as a nipple have spoiled, barely literate brats.

    Would the system I propose lead to every other action movie being meticulously researched and based on some teachable moment in history to get the coveted RSC? Yep. Would that be a bad thing? No. I myself would pay serious money to see Quentin Tarentino tell the story of Fa Mulan, Martin Scorsese’s biopic of Emma Goldman or John Cameron Mitchell’s fabulous action musical about the Sacred Band of Thebes.

    But no. Parents who don’t read the label ruin it for everyone, including their poor kids, and as a result, studios water the best movies down and make a lot of cartoony explosionfests without enough plot to float a hat to make up the deficit. I didn’t see a preview for ANYTHING socially relevant before ‘The Hunger Games’ this evening and a lot of it looked like cotton candy on a damn stick rather than movies.

    Also, what the EFF was up with the ‘Breaking Dawn Part 2′ trailer putting Bella in Katniss’ forest and showing off a deer? It’s like they’re ASKING fans with film-edit skills to help Jennifer Lawrence kill that one-dimensional slag with arrows.

  • http://twitter.com/AmyTheFreak Amy C.

    Quick notes before I get five hours of sleep before work.

    1. Not enough violence. I’m not a person who enjoys film violence, but after the books I was ready for it.

    2. Those dogs were awful. I pictured them more as werewolfy type things. Also, good job on making it night to take some pressure off of the animators of the mutts.

    3. I was pleased with the amount of Stanley Tucci.

    4. Pretty much every trailer beforehand had Chris Hemsworth in it (Snow White, Avengers, Cabin in the Woods).

    5. Josh’s acting made up for Jennifer’s vacant eyes. Maybe she was just going for shaky and constantly catatonic.

    6. Adding in a Seneca Crane subplot felt weird… but also good.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Unfortunately, Gary Ross did an interview where he said there wasn’t going to be any director’s cut or many deleted scenes at all because this was exactly the movie he wanted. I’m sure there will be a few but none of the big things we’d be hoping for.

  • mb presents

    how to i make the spoiler warning disappear?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R7GVNIKWG3S2UTHEQOMSZXT4M4 Anna B

    Please. I watched the Battle Royale movie AND read the Manga.  That both stories have kids fighting to the death  doesn’t mean it’s exactly the same. I think that’s the only thing the two have in common.  And THIS is MUCH BETTER than Battle Royale. Much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=39603236 Mariah Tess

    Yeah, I haven’t seen the movie yet but per the preview and Prim giving Katniss the pin, I assumed they left Madge out. I felt the ending of the series was a bit anticlimactic for me and I didn’t quite enjoy the third book as much. It went in a descending order for me…the first book blew my mind. I was kind of wondering how they would portray the mutant dogs in this bc I HATE CG that you can tell is CG and a lot of movies have really fake looking “beasts.” 

    But, totally excited to see the movie…even more now since I’ve read this review! (couldn’t stop myself from reading the spoilers, oh well.)

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Highlight the area with your curser. 

  • http://twitter.com/princessology Chakacoaster

     ARE PEOPLE SERIOUSLY STILL ON THIS SHIT

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=607464418 Rusty Patti

    The look on the woman’s face gave me a feeling that she thought there was more to the pin then she let on. I’m wondering if there will be more on it in the 2nd or 3rd film.

  • http://twitter.com/wemustntdwell88 Jen

    Haha yes to the Breaking Dawn trailer… I was thinking the same thing.. Take her out Katniss! Wooden arrow to the heart please! 

  • http://twitter.com/wemustntdwell88 Jen

    Sorry to anyone trying to read this, my nearly 4 am brain neither wrote nor spaced/edited well!

  • http://twitter.com/Its_Rocketman Jessica Claire

    **SPOILERS**
    I saw the midnight premier and I really enjoyed it, but there were no real surprises for me.  I was impressed with the way violence was portrayed- it was tasteful but still haunting.  One thing they left out that bothered me was how the bodies were not hovered up and away when the people died.  If it happened, it was implied, because we never saw it.  It was a well-acted and faithful adaptation, and even though it was a little tame, it was very good.

  • Frodo Baggins

    I third the recommendation. She’s fantastic in it, and the film is powerfully bleak and tense. That movie is the reason she was cast as Katniss.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1208921 Nikki Lincoln

    Jill – that’s pretty much spot on. I saw it before I read The Hunger Games and there are a lot of parrallels between the characters. It is a tough movie to watch though. 

  • Anonymous

    Hey.

    I loved Katniss at home but the movie got less emotionally resonant as it began. In the beginning I was struggling to keep my eyes dry but by the onset of the combat…EH.

    I was disappointed that the cannibal boy was a “scary black.” i was very VERY uncomfortable watching the other black boy beat a white girl to death. AWKWARD. Lots of uncomfortable crowd reaction to that. I was uncomfortable with the District 11 rebellion and the Police suppression with firehoses. AWKWARD.

    The romance on screen was utter crap. I heard one woman scream “SERIOUSLY?!” When Peeta and Katniss kissed in the cave. Because it was garbage and nobody believed in it.

    Cinna was meant to be touching and caring but comes off like a pedophile. We see that he has rebellious tendencies toward the Games, but it comes out wrong. Note: Cinna is my favorite supporting character from the novel.

    Effie was great. Haymitch was charming, but it wasn’t clear in the film that he was actively campaigning/soliciting for donations from people on Katniss’ behalf. It was sort of understood but if not for the book, I would have been baffled.

    Shortening “the girl who was on fire” to “the girl on fire” is such a minor change that completely deletes the sense of wonder and awe that people felt for Katniss. It sounds completely stupid. It sounds like a proclamation, an election slogan, not a whispered rumor that captured the hearts and imaginations of a people.

    Generally, as these things go, the pace was too fast. What can ya do.

    And that’s that.

  • http://twitter.com/TigerGirl528 TigerGirl528

    As far as movie adaptations of books go, they did an acceptable job. The cinematography and editing was good. Great costumes all around. The Capital and populace and the representation of them were some of my favorite parts.

    Characters were well played by all. The movie alluded to things which were not in the book, which was actually a teaser for me to continue and finish the series.

    There will never be an effective adaptation of a novel without losses and additions, but they are different media with different purposes for bringing different people to experience the characters. I enjoyed the acting.

    I predict an increase in the sales of archery products. ;)

    4 stars/5 overall.

      

  • Francesca M

    I really enjoyed it. To me book one is the one that could have been done in two movies, however its okay. Yeah a lot was left out but its okay I know what it needed to be. It was good. Jennifer Lawrence just ROCKS. Lenny Kravitz was great. All and all I really enjoyed it. And yeah I cried when well Rue and the song.. and yeah.

    I didn’t realize that the movie was 2hours and 20 minutes long. honestly its one of those things where you sometimes feel a movie was actually that long and you check your watch I didn’t check my watch once.  Its too bad about the Avox stuff but I think some of the stuff can be put in there next movie. All and all, very happy with it.

  • http://twitter.com/GalacticCynthia Cynthia Burmester

    It should also be noted that that scene was a flashback in the book, very early in the book. While it’s a shame the Avox situation couldn’t be explained in this film, it will probably be addressed in the future, probably incorporating that flashback, at a time when it matters a bit more to the action of the story.

  • Anonymous

    I really liked the movie. I felt it did the book justice, and I think that it cut out what needed to be cut out for the most part. I also noticed (and I don’t think this happens very often in film adaptations) that it not only delivered what was already in the books, but it also went above and beyond and ADDED IN a lot of stuff – namely the development of Seneca Crane’s character and a behind-the-scenes of how the Game Makers operate. I hadn’t really given Seneca Crane a second thought in the book, but seeing him play a larger role onscreen was intriguing and it added a new, more complex layer on my views of some of the Capitol residents. Additionally, the Game Making stuff was SO COOL to watch – I feel as though it’s sort of glossed over in the books, but I thought it was adapted beautifully for the screen.

    I dunno, maybe it was just nice to see the world from points of view
    other than Katniss’s. It felt like a fuller, richer experience. To me that was smart movie-making. It said, “We can stay true to the books but also flesh out some of the details that the book didn’t go into.” (And they didn’t do it in the stupid way that the Harry Potter films did – “Hey guys, let’s burn down the Weasley’s house in Half-Blood Prince! I’m sure no one will notice that it’s completely fine in the Deathly Hallows movie!”)

    I also thought the casting was spot-on and the actors did a wonderful job.

  • Anonymous

    *SPOILERS*
    I wish they would have spent even just afew more minutes in film focusing on the bond between Rue and Katniss, and how she came to relater her to Primrose. 
    That being said though, I also would’ve liked to seen the actual origin of the mockingjay pin, the Avox girl, and the mutants with the tributes faces. This is what establishes the tradition of going to movies based on books with my friends. When things are changed that we were so excited to see, it brings on the very quiet nerd rage that you can always see on our faces in the theater. XD

  • http://melancholywise.tumblr.com/ Sophie

    Apparently we lost 7 seconds on the uk version to make it a 12A (that’s under twelves with adult supervision for those not in the know). I’ve been really surprised by how shocked a lot of adult reviewers for the books have been by the violence. I mean honestly, it would seem they’ve never read a young adult book before. I think The Hunger Games does very well in the way it depicts violence actually. It never exists for the sake of revelling in the coolness of it, instead it is played up to hammer home how horrible this all is. And really I think it’s the glamorising of violence that can have a negative affect. Similarly nudity is not a bad thing but objectification is. And I agree, kids deserve the freedom to explore difficult subject matter without being coddled. I know that some of the more mature books I read as a young adult did me nothing but good.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, the District 11 scenes were awkward. Yes, you were supposed to draw that connection. It was totally intentional. Also, Thresh in the books has “the same dark skin as Rue.”