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The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

Genders: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Director: Gary Ross

Writer: Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins

Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci

Year: 2012
Run time: 2h 22min
IMDB score: 7.2
Updated: 2 months ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: The Hunger Games

Genders: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Imdb Score: 7.2

Runtime: 2h 22min

Released: 23 Mar 2012

Director: Gary Ross

Writer: Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins

Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci

Box Office: $408.0M

Company: Lionsgate

OfficialWebsite

Imdb Link

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Trailer


Review

How can this be a cult movie?

3/10 OK, first let me admit that I haven't read the books, and I didn't even know they existed: I was taken to the cinema by my girlfriend, who saw something in the trailers I didn't which made her all excited. So, I sat there with a clear mindset, no expectations, no prejudice, no background info whatsoever. First things first: whoever invented the the "let's shake the camera all around because it makes the movie so much more lifelike" and convinced others to follow him or her, should be shot. Twice, in fact, just to be sure...It is really annoying, and so unnecessary: it is not making anything more real. For me, in many cases the hectic and jerky camera movement seemed to be only a poor attempt to mask fact that there is nothing (or not much) happening, but it tries to make it look intense and action packed regardless. So cheap...and apart from pissing me off, it didn't work at all, but I admit I well may be a minority... The story feels like it is hanging in the air. Again, I didn't read the books so the scenes may have been adequately set there, but in the movie you get 10 lines, and off you go...and it doesn't add much depth later on either. The most fundamental question remained: what's the point? Sending 2 dozens of younglings to slaughter won't hold aggression at bay in itself, actually it is more likely that the infuriated parents driven mad from the grieving over the unnecessary and pointless death of their children will cry for revenge and go into resistance, or even spark a brutal bloodbath (especially that it is an annual event, so sooner or later everyone will be affected by friends or family). Also, the scale is hanging in the air too, you don't know how the 2 opposing populations (the "citizens" of the shiny new world and the habitants of the 12 district) relate to each other, which would be rather pivotal. I won't go on with the many potholes, the bottom line for me is that the scene was set simply poorly. The story, well, is very simple and straight, once you stepped over the inadequate surroundings. Feels painfully unfinished, and though I din't know there is a series behind, I told to the (rather disappointed) missus in the end that it must be so because they already have a sequel in mind. Knowing that gives a little excuse, but still left a hollow "is this really it?" kind of feeling in the both of us. The striking similarities with Battle Royal I'll leave alone... Acting was OK, considering the absurdity of some of the characters and the whole context (background and story). I'm sorry, I'm not a big fan of the lead actress (Jennifer Lawrence), as I didn't even know her before this movie (althogh I saw and really liked First Class, but somehow couldn't connect). Regardless, she does a good job of portraying and transferring the tension, fear and uncertainty of the situation she is pulled into, at least a good number of scenes, in fact her efforts were one of the few "ups" for me among the many "downs" during that long 2,5 hours. Kudos to Elizabeth Banks as well for creating a "sugar-monster" character, and also for the fact that though I know her face well enough (just seen in Man on the ledge), here I simply couldn't recognise :) Based on the movie itself, I really don't know how this can be so popular, but I admit I'm probably not the target audience, and also the books may be much better (well, it wouldn't be difficult as the bar is set really low). Donald Sutherland was brilliant saying "only hope is stronger than fear", but that and Ms Lawrence's occasional shine doesn't make this worth to sacrifice and evening for. I have a frequent visitor card so it didn't cost me anything, but if I've paid almost 10 quids for this, I would be rather upset...

one year ago

Poor Adaptation

3/10 What a bitter disappointment! In order to explain what is missing from the film, please allow me to describe what I love about the books.

Suzanne Collins creates a moving portrayal of a girl living under a cruel dictatorship. Set against a background of extreme poverty, these books show how the unequal distribution of wealth affects Panem's society. Those living in the wealthy Capitol have so little in common with the destitute people from the Districts that they regard the deaths of District children as entertainment. The violence in The Hunger Games is shocking because it is brutal and unnecessary, yet wholly embraced- even celebrated- by Capitol residents. As for the District tributes, they are not enemies but they kill each other all the same, some reluctantly and others with enthusiasm. As the trilogy progresses, it becomes a compelling commentary on the madness of war and the sad futility of violence. However, these themes are woven into the books in such a way that you may not even notice they're being discussed. You become so immersed in Katniss's world that poverty is a given, and violence a sad but expected part of life.

The film follows the basic storyline but lacks emotional depth. The character development is almost nonexistent and the deaths in the arena are bloodless in every sense of the word. The tributes are little more than walking stereotypes so their deaths have no impact. Even Rue's death- heart-wrenching in the book- is little more than a side note in the movie. If I hadn't read the books, I don't think I would have understood the dynamic between the tributes at all, including the conflicted relationship between Katniss and Peeta. Their romance comes across as cheesy and unconvincing. There is no hint of the bond that grows between them as the story progresses.

Perhaps my biggest criticism of this movie is that no one seems to be going hungry! I cannot believe the filmmakers overlooked this important point. The Capitol's exploitation of the Districts is supposed to be the backdrop for the entire story. When Katniss arrives in the Capitol and observes how food appears at a touch of a button, she cannot understand how Capitol residents fill their time. The majority of her days are consumed with feeding her family. It defines her. Most of the tributes have never had enough to eat and this is a major factor in the Games.

The beginning of the movie seemed promising. The ominous mood in District 12 was just right. It is apparent that the people who live there are exhausted and resigned to their fate. When residents appear for the reaping, they look like cattle being rounded up for slaughter. The Capitol, in contrast, is frightening in it's frenetic artificiality. This juxtaposition was well-done. However, the filmmakers lost me when the tributes entered the arena.

There was no sense of tension. The tributes make all kinds of noise as they move through the woods, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are being hunted. Katniss stands about ten feet away from Cato as he snaps a boys neck and we are supposed to believe he doesn't see her? The scenes from the control room are pointless and add nothing to the movie. They should have spent that time on character development! Unfortunately, this lack of character development causes the emotional scenes to fall flat. I am astounded this was even possible, given the subject matter, but the overall result lacks intensity and depth.

I will credit Elizabeth Banks with an excellent portrayal of Effie Trinket. She adds humor and a sense of the absurdity of Capitol life. Donald Sutherland also does well as President Snow. Jennifer Lawrence is an adequate Katniss but Josh Hutcherson is terrible as Peeta. He's just not very likable. We see none of his inner strength. Instead, he comes across and whiny and weak. And Wes Bentley seems to be included just to showcase his ability to grow an amazing beard.

One more thing. What happened to Haymitch?! He's supposed to be a self-destructive drunk! His cunning is all the more unexpected because he seems incapable of taking care of himself. I was thrilled when they cast Woody Harrelson and he does well in some parts but it seemed like they had to water down his character to market it to young adults.

This movie had a lot of potential but it fell short in many important ways. A score of 3/10 is pretty harsh but I felt as though the filmmakers kept all of the plot points and none of the meaning. Read the books instead.

one year ago

A true game-changer for movies aimed at teens.

5/10 Let me start by saying that I'm a huge fan of the "The Hunger Games" book series by Suzanne Collins. I've read them countless times and when I found out they were making a movie of them a little over a year ago I was very excited. But I was also worried.

"The Hunger Games" is not very easy source material. The book is written in first person narrative with very detailed descriptions of everything form the characters' looks to the strange futuristic devices they use in Panem, the future version of the U.S. where the story takes place. I couldn't imagine that they would be able to convey every detail as I had imagined it and make the story believable without an R-rating or a huge budget. All of my concerns were wiped away when I saw the movie.

I've never seen a more faithful adaption of a book in my life. All of the costumes, the sets, the locations, the cast (I'll talk more about them in a while) and the pacing is as if they were exactly replicated from the book. And the small things that do differ or are added (such as more insight to the gamemakers' control room) only add to the amazing world Collins created and improve the narrative movie-wise. And the movie is great for people who haven't read the books as well. Not once did I feel as if something was vague or badly explained.

The cast is stellar. Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss carries the movie and makes me regret complaining about her casting because she was too "hot" and not starved enough. She IS Katniss and one can feel the graveness of an situation just by looking at one of her expressions. Josh Hutcherson as Peeta is also a true breakout performance. The way he looks at Katniss will makes girls all over the world envy her, just like it's supposed to be. Other standouts in the cast include Stanley Tucci as the flamboyant talk-show host Caesar Flickerman, Woody Harrelson as the sarcastic but caring mentor Haymitch and Wes Bentley as the sinister game-maker Seneca Crane (his final scene might be the best one in the whole movie). The child actors Willow Shields and Amandla Stendberg who portrays Prim and Rue are believable and heartbreaking even though they're inexperienced.

Despite the PG-13 rating the movie doesn't gloss over or sugarcoat anything for their audience. The violence may not be gloriously graphic but it's still there. People will feel the tributes' pain and despair and not even realize the violence isn't gory until you've left the theater. The movie also deals with important themes like survival, governmental control, grief and helplessness. There is a minor love story subplot, but it doesn't distract from the movies main themes. In my opinion I think it rather improves them by showing some light in the dark.

The only complaint I can think of is that the movie feels too short. It's almost two and a half hours long, but it feels as if it goes by in a blink. I will have to see it again to fully pay attention to every detail (such as the costumes and animation of the Capitol, which looked amazing). But this is still not me saying that the movie is rushed, because as I stated the source material is very dense and the filmmakers managed include almost everything.

People are expecting this to become the next Twilight-style teen movie franchise. I can't say I think the two stories have anything in common even though I hope "The Hunger Games" will do as well at the box office. But if the first movie is any indication of the quality of what's to come - this will be a series way out of Twilight's league.

one year ago

Took a rated R violent book and dumbed it down to P13 to make more money.

1/10 Simply, many over the age of 18 read these books and loved them, and it wasn't because there was a girl, a boy, and another boy in a love story. It was about an awful political system where children faced to the death for their survival with awful paragraphs of cruel brutality. This is part of what made the book unique. The movie, was an attempt to draw a crowd like Twilight for money, and completely blurred out children killing each other to survive so that it could be made PG13. Ridiculous. Jennifer Lawerence is an AWESOME actress though, and she did a great job. Throughout the movie I was never convinced that she lived in district 12 nearly starving... or that Peeta was dying in the hunger games.. it was all very pretty and not anything like I imagined they would do with it. Oh well, maybe they'll remake a rated R version some day that adequately portrays the books theme.

one year ago

Spoilers! But don't worry, it's already predictable and weak.

1/10 The start of the movie is so obvious, with a tiny little girl scared out of her wits who has no business being in the Hunger Games, most predictably the lead actresses little sister it was obvious she was going to take her place. Even more less surprising we find out that the boy going with her has a crush on her.

On to 1 hour and 15 minutes of Woody Harrelson being not nearly believable enough as a crude alcoholic become soft hearted, a lot of senseless dinners, a lot of hype for the contestants we know nothing about, absolutely no politics or explanation of what the Hunger Games actually are or how it came about, and an awful underlying message sent out to viewers. "Just be yourself, but do what everyone expects!" Katniss went from being tough, to a weak and sleepy survivor.

Are you bored yet? So, they get thrown out into the Hunger Games, there is absolutely no build up whatsoever. The only person you know is out there is Katniss and the boy who came with her. The rest of the contestants you don't know, hardly have a clue as to what they're capable of, most of them die at the start anyway. Katniss runs away from the initial slaughter, to take a nap. Then she takes more naps. At one point out of the blue she finds herself in the middle of fiery doom, with fireballs launching at her, she barely survives. Well, lucky for her, though we were never told. she has some sponsors save her, with the help of a silent montage of Woody Harrelson laughing with a bunch of poorly dressed somebodies. She gets saved with super healing medicine! She takes more naps.

Later, we find out the boy who has a crush on her is teamed up with the last of the jerks, for some reason, in a game where only one survives, there are people who travel in groups. Okay? Why??? They make some pathetic attempts to kill her, then give up and sleep. Kat makes a new friend who seems to be the most resourceful, herbal expert. She tells her to dump a bunch of insects on them. Then while it takes forever for her to saw a tree limb off, we're told these are evil, dangerous insects that will kill you. How convenient! She gets stung a few times, and conveniently kills a girl with the bow and arrows, which just so happens she's an expert with. How lucky! Too bad she was stung by these insects, now she's going to take more naps and be saved somehow... by a tiny girl who knows herbal remedies. Wish we would have known that! They turn out to be good pals, what a surprise that is. Well, after a lot more boring stuff of not getting to know anything about what is going on, they randomly decide to go find out what the meanies are up to.

Turns out, they gathered all the supplies and somehow found a bunch of land mines to surround the pile. Okay? What's that supposed to do? Apparently, some girl isn't part of their group, she expertly dodges every land mine and gets away with something. So, instead of gathering some supplies, Katniss blows it all up. Then... runs away! Katniss and her little pal find each other, but get attacked, Kat swiftly dodges a spear throw, and sticks the attacker with an arrow. The attacker dies instantly. But finds out poor little girl was stuck by the big spear. Except it takes FOREVER for her to die, we don't know anything about this character, so we don't care, so the long drawn out death is stupid.

Well, Kat runs off alone and finds her boy who has a crush on her. For some reason untold he's not with the group anymore and he's badly injured somehow. Okay, they hobble off after way too long, and then find a cave where it takes way too long for them to get things going. She decides to go off on her own for some supplies, and gets attacked by a girl who takes too long to kill her, but some other guy out of the blue SAVES Katniss... for absolutely NO reason, and then... just leaves her alone! In a game where only one survives, with the perfect opportunity to turn the odds in his favor... just leaves her alone! She goes back, takes a lot more time, and finds out there is only one person left? Really? Thanks for showing us some of the action... but anyway they leave the cave, and the Hunger Game... techs, or IT people or whatever they are, unleash a bunch of dogs that are really big and full of muscle. Kat and her boyfriend OUTRUN all of them to a huge metal platform where they're surrounded by blood thirsty animals... who could easily make the jump to the top of the platform... don't. Instead the last guy, whoever he is, is bloody and looks like he can barely move, beats the crap out of both of them. How he got by the dogs is beyond me... but whoever can do that must be amazing, until, Kat shoots him in the hand with an arrow. This causes him to fall off and get eaten by dogs. But Kat feels sorry for him, and puts him out of his misery.

After this, there is nothing really to note. Nobody says anything important and nobody cares, they just wish it would end, because they don't really know what happened at all. They don't really know anybody but Kat, Donald Sutherland gives some meaningless scornful look, and walks off and the credits roll.

one year ago