Thursday, April 5, 2012

Review for The Hunger Games (MOVIE)

As a HUGE fan of Suzanne Collins' dystopian YA series of books it was with breathless anticipation that I counted down the days until this movie's release.  There was a lot riding on this movie as its popularity meant it was going to be disected to the fullest extent, but I'm happy to report that it's almost pure perfection.  From the cast to the visuals to the adaptation of the book's storyline to screen, I found myself enthralled and greatly anticipating the sequel to see if it can live up to the promises made here.

First and foremost I give kudos to the representation of the different Districts.  District 12 is bleak with an overall greyish and bland quality to it.  You can practically feel the economic hardships they're going through. The Capitol is the complete opposite with its bright colors, not only in the resident's styles but with everything in the city itself.  These are clearly the rich with no worries about hardships.  These settings perfectly convey Ms. Collins' verbal descriptions and bring forth the bigger political issues.

By and large I found the casting to be spot on with a small criticism being leveled towards Josh Hutcherson (who plays Peeta).  But let's first rave about Jennifer Lawrence (who plays Katniss) and her beautiful balance of kick ass and caring.  She's the perfect story heroine brought to life and puts the Twilight series Bella to shame.  THIS is who young girls should aspire to be and admire!  She was tough with a cool exterior one minute and showing a highly emotional side the next.  The scene involving the death of Rue brought tears to my eyes once again and brought a moment of humanity to the barbarism of the Games.  Woody Harrelson brought some much needed humor to the film and his interactions with Jennifer provided some wonderfully sarcastic bantering.  Lenny Kravitz was the biggest surprise bringing some coolness and subtle support in his role of Cinna.  Donald Sutherland does his usual great acting in the role of President Snow and flows easily between politically charasmatic and creepy.  Even the acting from those playing the other tributes was nicely done with the actress playing Rue (Amandla Stenberg) leaving the longest impression.  I don't really have much to say about Liam Hemsworth (Gale) since he plays such a small part in this movie.  We'll see how he does when given more meatier material later on.  With such a strong heroine it's a shame that Josh can't quite keep up.  He always felt like a pale shadow when standing next to Jennifer.  I'm not sure if that's more of an interpretation of the character of Peeta or just weaker acting.  Again, we'll have to see how he handles what befalls his character as the series progresses.

This movie definitely lived up to all the hype and I'm excited to see how the next book will translate to the big screen.  I have high hopes that those who haven't yet read the series will see this and read this amazingly written series of books.  Seeing it is wonderful but reading it brings in so many extra layers that make this dystopian world even more intriguing.

My rating for this is an A!


  1. Glad you liked it! I loved it. Jennifer was AMAZING - pretty much all of the cast were! I had pretty low expectations of Josh so he kinda blew me away :)

    1. It was great all the way around which was a relief considering the high expectations everyone had for it. Everybody seems to be in agreement about how well done it was and it will be interesting to see how much money it ultimately brings in. Its opening weekend it was the third biggest money maker EVER so we'll see if it can climb a spot or two.

      Thanks for your comments!

  2. Good review Joder. It has the slightly grubby, cobbled-together look of a futuristic flick from the ’70s, but that is part of its charm. It’s also a lot better than any of the Twilight movies, which isn’t saying much, but it isn't sappy, mopey, or just plain bad and that’s all that matters.

    1. Yep, that was exactly the feeling it conveyed. The jittery camera work for District 12 changed to steady and sure for The Capitol scenes too which also presented a difference in their statuses. And I can't say enough how thrilled I am that it's made more money than the Twilight movies and had better reviews. In my opinion it's way better in both movie and book format than the Twilight series (and I don't say that to cause a fight, it's purely my preference).

      Thanks so much for your comments, Dan!