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Genres are ActionThrillerDr Produced in 2012, USA
Available Quality: DivX, Hi Def, Hi Def
|Liam Hemsworth||Woody Harrelson||Wes Bentley||Elizabeth Banks|
|Donald Sutherland||Alexander Ludwig||Stanley Tucci|
In a not-too-distant future, North America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining districts female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives.
22 May 2013
Mediocre in every sense of the word
Before I went too see this film I had these rave reviews calling it the"film for our generation" and "best of the decade" and the huge amountof buzz circulating the film led me to think I was going to seesomething special.How wrong I was this film is your average blockbusterthat seems to be borrowing elements from lots of different films so Ireally don't see the striking bold originality everyone's being ravingabout. First off the acting is monotone, there's no characterdevelopment, Jennifer Lawrence is the epitome of un-engaging and thefilm has nothing special about it everything is average, the directing-average,the dialogue-average, the sets-average and the soundtrack-....you guessed it AVERAGE. Imagine this a dumbed down blockbuster versionof BATTLE ROYALE with a Truman show undertone, then sprinkle a bit ofharry potter and the goblet of fire on top then steal the fith elementwardrobe and bang you have the hunger games. Now don't get me wrong I'mnot just jumping on the anti hunger games band wagon I wanted to likethis film its directed by Gary Ross who brought us "sea biscuit" and"pleasentville" two great movies (a younger Toby.M would have made agood peter right?)but this film is recycling a point we've seen donebetter in battle royale. The editing is okay at first it worked in theaction since the shaky cam made it seem fast and frantic and itcoincided with the brutality but too keep it a lower age rating theyhad to take this too an extreme to a point the action is impossible tofollow and hence forth boring.Did I mention all the meaningless andunanswered back story's and sub plots that never get answered. The filmhas neither style nor substance.And I haven't even mentioned the lameending,the half baked romance and the laughable special effects and fx(THE Fire).However I did like the character of Peter he was interestingand Josh.h played him well I wanted to see more of him, I also felt thefilm was paced well.So in conclusion The Hunger Games is decent and you will be entertainedbut after the initial thrill you will realise it was just a mediocrefilm.p.s. I have read the book and it is better than the film, it alsosolves some of my gripes but its still not amazing its a good book butit is pretty over hyped.
21 May 2013
The odds would always be in favor of Hunger Games
Being a phenomenon among teens and tweens can guarantee your box officesuccess, no matter how bad is your production. But to guarantee youincrease beyond your target audience you need to smart up. WhereTwilight sets the bar, you expect others to follow suit. You hire bunchof good looking dudes & girls (who happen to be extremely talented) anddumb them down until you think they are just sticks in good lookingclothes. But little did we know, some of them were taking notes of themistakes Twilight series committed and made sure there movie version ofanother book phenomenon does not make the audiences roll their eyesover and over again.How good was Hunger Games can be measured by the audience reaction tothe anticipated seen they had read in the book and yet gasp on everyscene that struck a chord by its penchant melodrama between all thebloodshed. Truth to be told, the bloodshed was minimal in the movieversion compared to all the gory details of each death in the book.This was still a packaged product to attract young to very youngaudience and would not expect 'Battle Royale' kind of gore. But themovie still packs a punch amid all the melodrama.Even if you are not interested in the teen love triangle being playedout, you would find the politics interesting. It's pretty amusing howthe pundits from Left and right of American political spectrum came tothe conclusion that the movie justifies their political stand againstone another. All in all, an entertaining movie that provided somethingfor everyone to enjoy. That said the success does make the maker's taskeasier and provides a loyal audience for its following sequels. Onehopes they do not just concentrate on marketing and focus on keepingthe quality of their product consistently good.
21 May 2013
You guys said it all, just wanted to add that sometimes couldn't seeanything! Was too dark and the scenes too close and too quick, too muchcamera shaking. I didn't enjoy. You guys said it all, just wanted toadd that sometimes couldn't see anything! Was too dark and the scenestoo close and too quick, too much camera shaking. I didn't enjoy. Youguys said it all, just wanted to add that sometimes couldn't seeanything! Was too dark and the scenes too close and too quick, too muchcamera shaking. I didn't enjoy. You guys said it all, just wanted toadd that sometimes couldn't see anything! Was too dark and the scenestoo close and too quick, too much camera shaking. I didn't enjoy.
20 May 2013
Interesting film that fails to engage
It could be argued that we are living in the last decades of WesternCivilisation as we know it. The connotations of our popular culture hasall the elements of distraction from what actually matters within oursociety. Reality television is now the most watched entertainment, withit's collection of delusional contestants vying for their 15 minutes offame, along with the populous need to both humiliate and celebratepeople of little worth. This format of mass-distraction is mirrored inthe fall of the Roman Empire, which had its Gladiatorial Colosseum's asboth a form of distraction and control. In the 21st century, television(along with other forms of media communication) is used to control andsedate the masses, and foment apathy in the population. It is also aform of contagion that infects those who believe they can also be richand famous with little or no ability or talent. This seems to be whatThe Hunger Games is attempting to comment on, within the context of adistopian future.Set after an uprising during a war, North America has been divided into12 districts controlled by its centre, The Capitol. Each year one boyand one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are selected by a lotteryfrom each district to fight to the death in a televisual show. Fromdistrict 12, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), volunteers herselffor the event after her younger sister was selected. Along with malecontestant, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), are transported to theCapitol, which resembles the Roman cities that the film is attemptingto align itself with. After training and attempts to get sponsors, theyare let out into a forest world to fight.I really can't be bothered to explain any further the plotting orcharacter narratives within this film, as you will more than likelyhave seen it before: The Hunger Games has similar themes, and has anincredibly similar storyline to both Battle Royale (2000) and TheRunning Man (1987). Whilst it's central character is played well byLawrence (she has a slight presence on screen with her ordinarybeauty), she has very little to do in a weak script, and obviousplotting. The films iconography is lifted wholesale from Roman history,and its depiction of a vapid elitist population fails to enlighten theinitial premise (that admittedly could have been good). Within thefirst hour the film also manages to insult the spectator by repeatingcertain scenes of dialogue only 20 minutes after it was initially shown("We are totally aware that that happened, cause not much has happenedsince, and it happened moments ago").Writer Suzanne Collins has stated that the inspiration for the bookcame from channel hopping between reality TV and the Iraq war, but shefails to find a voice strong enough to contextualise all theinformation into a credible framework, and simply seems to use the ideato speak only to the idiots who watch the reality TV that she seems towant to criticise; in other words the idea has been produced in muchmore intelligent ways elsewhere, whilst The Hunger Games decreases itsconcepts to feed it to the masses. Back to the 2010's, it has beensuggested that around 90% of teenagers desire fame. In this narrativeworld, this desire simply is not there. In conclusion, interesting ideawhich fails to interest - the film is too long, and it simply does notengage.www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com
20 May 2013
An OK Movie.
One of the most successful movies of this year and also one of the mostloved. Most of the hype was surrounded because its an adaptation fromone of the franchise of the novel which were equally successful, andwas not a big surprise when it became a big money earner at the BoxOffice.The story takes place in the future in a place called Panem which isdivided into 12 districts. Each year two young representatives fromeach district are selected by lottery to participate in The HungerGames. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitorswhile the citizens of Panem are required to watch. When 16-year-oldKatniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12's femalerepresentative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. The first half ofthe movie is about surroundings and the preparation of the event. Thesecond half deals with the real game and the action. Often compared(wrongly) with the Japanese action movie 'Battle Royale', which is afar superior movie, both are different. The script seems rushed where it has to be clear, and slow where it hadto be really fast. Also the direction seemed a bit bad. Acting wise themovie revolves around Katniss, wonderfully played by Jennifer Lawrence.She is one good reason to watch this movie. Although its not her bestperformance, we can see her amazing screen presence in almost everyframe that she is in. The rest of the cast just does what they arerequired to do. Cinematography and editing is just fine. And themake-up in this movie is really wonderful, one can hardly recognizeElizabeth Banks. I know most of you would not agree with me but themovie is just watchable. To be frank don't watch it with highexpectations!!!
19 May 2013
Nothing Mellarkable here
With this movie, there are two groups: those who haven't read the booksand those who have. I am in the second group, having read the booksbefore there was even a thought of a movie and I really enjoyed them. Iwent to the midnight premiere and was really excited to see it unfoldon the big screen. Did I like it? Well, that's complicated. I'm notgoing to bother describing the plot but just get right into the prosand cons. I may mention some spoilers, so be warned.Pros: -The acting. No one was bad, everyone believable, even thenewcomers such as Prim and Rue. Josh Hutcherson was impressive asPeeta, although most of his lines were awful, and Liam Hemsworth wasgood as Gale. I personally don't like Jennifer Lawrence, her voiceirritates me and I felt like she was too tall and "well fed" to beKatniss. However, I was surprised, she was really realistic and I thinkshe carried the role well. I was most impressed by the Careers though.They had hardly anything to work with but managed to make thembelievable and interesting, Cato and Clove especially. I was actuallydisappointed when Cato died, because he was an interesting character towatch.-The plot. I was happy to see that there were hardly any changes. Sure,no Avoxes or how she really gets the pin, but it stuck close and thatwas great. The violence was toned down, but it still worked. I thoughtthe side story with Seneca Crane was cool, because we get to see what'shappening outside of the game, with the game-makers and the president. Cons: I had lots of issues with the film, but most of them arenitpicky, silly things like goofs, but here are some of my biggerissues.-The settings/costumes. I get that not everyone has the same idea ofthe locations in their head, but District 12 was way too nice lookingand The Capitol didn't seem to have the futuristic "wow" factor I waslooking for. I felt like most of the costumes were tacky, especiallythe other tributes outfits and some of the sets had a cheap look. I getthat there's a budget, but still.-The directing. I know everyone has complained about this too, but Ihave to say something. The shaky cam was so annoying! My eyes neveradjusted to it and I had a hard time knowing what was happening. Itsamateur and makes it seem like there is more happening than therereally is. I felt like the director was one of the major issues withthis movie. I was not impressed by him at all.-The plot. I'm glad they stuck closely to the plot, but it felt like itwas the overview of the Hunger Games that your friend would tell you,not a movie. Everything happened fast with no buildup. When Rue died, Iwasn't even upset, because she'd only been on screen for like 10minutes and hardly had any back-story. Why did Katniss care? If youhaven't read the books, you wouldn't know about how she saw Rue assomeone similar to Prim. The climax went nowhere and the Katniss/Peetathing never was explained. Call me a fangirl, but I really wanted thecave scene to have more and been more realistic than two kisses andcrappy dialogue. We get no feeling about the fake love story, why it'snecessary or how Peeta and Katniss feel about it.So, all in all, it was enjoyable, but I was very disappointed. I hopethey can fix things or get a new director by the time Catching Firehappens.
19 May 2013
Good movie, yes. 5 stars......?
Nope. I went to the theater knowing that this movie would not be asgood as the book. Movies are NEVER as good as the book if they're basedoff one.Commonsensemedia.com gave this movie 5/5 stars. I can see why peoplewould give it such a good review, maybe they've never read the book,and found this movie great, which, I admit, It was pretty good. Heck, Iprobably would have given it 5 stars if I hadn't read the book. But, I have read the book, and I know the movie could have been muchbetter.They added a few things too the movie that weren't in the book, andthey actually worked nicely. But they took things out of the movie thatwere in the book that would have made this an A+ movie. The only thing keeping this from 7/10 are the actors. They were veryconvincing, especially Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. The special effects were really good, too.Overall:8/10
18 May 2013
Didnt live up to the hype but still good
When word was going around about "The Hunger Games" trilogy (beingsomeone not familiar with the books), I thought I would give it a shotwhen it came out since Jennifer Lawrence was in it. Then came theinsane Box-Office earnings and rave reviews from most parties. Myexpectations, as a result, were heightened. However, for me, the hypedid not match it's reality. I am not saying that it wasn't a good film,it just wasn't as good as I thought it would be and I think it was sobecause it really did not put much detail into the many aspects whichdefine the sociological order that exists in this dystopia. This ispersonified in an event which is based on the idea of a celebrationdedicated to nothing other than constant revenge being undertaken bythe powerful on it's powerless to serve as a reminder to theconsequences of their actions. I know that most people (who have read the book) would not hold thiscritique into consideration coming from someone who has not read theprose. Most of the film's fans,however, are thoroughly satisfied due toit keeping true to the original material. To me a great adaptation doesnot necessarily need to replicate it's source but also give aperspective of the film-maker on it to be really considered to be apiece of art he/she can call their own. Even though the film isdirected well by Gary Ross, the lack of that insight into themechanisms that rule this dystopian futuristic world would have beenappropriate and would have been a film which he could call his own.Probably the next installments will delve into that aspect a lot moreto make it a better film than it is.Despite this flaw, I found the movie to be very enjoyable and wouldwatch the sequel. Gary Ross (who, unfortunately, won't be back todirect the second installment) does tell the story he wants to tellvery effectively with the use of Flashbacks and skillful editingdespite the material lacking proper character development. A lot ofpeople are saying that it lacks this insight into the characters due toit being the first of four films, but that for me is no reason why itcould not be delved into since it has been done with such a seriesbefore.The star of the show was Jennifer Lawrence who continues to awe us allwith her versatility and maturity on screen at such a young age. Shereally gives us a glimpse into what her character is all about and doesit with a guile that is synonymous to the most seasoned actors. Unless,God forbid, some unforeseen tragedy befalls her, I think we are reallywitnessing the growth of a great actress for the future who will giveus a career with performances to remember. Even though this performanceis nothing compared to her brilliant breakout role as "Ree" in"Winter's Bone", it brings out her versatility as she plays thedifferent facets of her character with admirable realism.A lot of people have been comparing this film to "Battle Royale" and Ican't blame them. "The Hunger Games" even though it deals with verydifferent schematics to that of the Japanese film, the portrayal ofdarkness in Takashi Miike's film was far more resounding giving it amore realistic perspective to society's degradation than "The HungerGames" did. I am no sadist, but I think another flaw of "The HungerGames" was that it really did not delve into the darkness and brutalitywhich is the signature of such an event to a level which was requiredwith such a premise. I guess if it was Directed with a darkness whichis a signature for Director's in the East, it would have not been asaccessible in theaters as it was, thus would have definitely deflatedit's monstrous earnings (In hindsight, a wise business decision).Despite it's flaws (ones I consider to be), the film is reallyenjoyable and does have some very gripping scenes which complement it'smaterial. Not a must-see, but I promise you would be entertained if youdo.
16 May 2013
Hollywoods New Teen Adventure Tent Pole Does Not Disappoint
Before we get on to the more gritty, action packed movies of 2012 (TheDark Knight Rises, The Avengers, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, etc.)let's talk about The Hunger Games. Based on the Suzanne Collin's bookof the same name, The Hunger Games has had a lot of hype circulating itever since the end of the Harry Potter franchise from last year. Doesit live up to the high expectations of the uproarious fans?One thing I'll state clearly before I get down to review this movie isthat: 1.) I saw the midnight screening of this with a group of friendsand family. I was awfully tired before the movie started, so once itbegan, I may have missed one or two details. I'll do my best to commenton as many things as I can.2.) I have read the book that this movie's based on. It's a good read.Obviously it's not perfect, but it kept my interest. With that beingsaid, I am not going to grade this movie solely on what was left out ofit. I'm not a big enough fan of The Hunger Games series to speculate onevery detail that didn't make it into the movie.Okay, let's begin. I'll admit, much like the book, this movie is verygood. It followed the book pretty closely, though again, if it didn't,I wouldn't have cared that much. The real treat with The Hunger Gamesis the cast. Many of them look and act the part. I've been a fan ofJennifer Lawrence ever since I saw X-Men: First Class last summer, andhere, she doesn't disappoint. She portrays Katniss as an independentsurvivalist, much like how she was in the book.The supporting cast is also good...for the most part. Josh Hutchersonas Peeta Mellark and Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne both show theintensity and maturity of their characters and, naturally, it's greatto see. Haymitch and Effie are a lot of fun, and the other contendersin the game are competent enough as villains to make up for lack of anycharacterization.Another thing I need to mention: I"M NOT RACIST. I got nothing againstblack actors, as long as they play there rolls well. And sadly, the twoweakest characters are Lenny Kravitz as Cinna and Amandla Stenberg asRue. Both characters left a tremendous impact on Katniss in the novel,while here, they're simply boiled down to bland, uninterestingsupporting characters.The violence is entertaining, though I think that's very much apersonal preference. As I said before, Harry Potter devotees will cometo this movie for the weekend entertainment, and that might present aproblem. The action in Harry Potter is pretty tame; when you get downto it, it's just a ton of sparks and colored lights flying around thescreen. Whereas this movie is much more intense and gritty. There'sdefinitely some pretty disturbing scenes, so I suggest keeping thekiddies home for this one.One more gripe I have with this movie is how it was presented. Muchlike Harry Potter, The Hunger Games is very self-contained.Essentially, if you haven't read the book, there'll be a lot of sceneswhere you might find yourself scratch your head in confusion. Maybethat's nitpicking, but with other movies based on books, such as TheLord of the Rings trilogy, there was enough character and story toappeal to other audience members. And, as much as I liked this movie,it really didn't do this.Final verdict: Is there any point of writing a final verdict? You'regoing to see this movie regardless of my opinion. It's going to be oneof the highest grossing movies of the year, and deservedly so. It's asmart, action packed, sci-fi story. It's characters, though not thebest, are still pretty enjoyable and the action scenes are intense andbrutally realistic. There's also a lot of quiet moments where you'rejust allowed to soak in the atmosphere and tone of the film, somethingthat I don't recall Harry Potter ever doing. If you're a fan of thebooks and above the age of ten, check it out and draw your ownconclusions.
15 May 2013
Pathetic and awful
I highly recommend everyone not to watch this movie, I just did afterseeing that it had a rating of 8/10 and believe me when I say that itdoes not even deserve a 1/10. Three reasons I could give for such a badreview: 1) Had a very high expectation thanks to an IMDb rating of 8.2)The fight sequences make it clear that the cinematography is awful.3) The storyline - way too predictable, no proper build-up to thestory, too many dots to connect. All in all a really bad movie I wouldsay. Too many loopholes, bad direction, worse storyline (& verypredictable) and one hour into the movie, you begin to wonder when itsgonna get over!!!! And trust me Condemned is a much better than this. Ihope that with more votes the rating comes down!!!!!
13 May 2013
the hunger games
The Hunger Games is one of the most interesting movies according to itstopic. Each year the capitol choose one girl and boy to send hungergames. When young girl Primose is chosen for the district 12, her bigsister, who is named Katniss, participates as a volunteer. AdditionallyPeeta select to this district. They are taken away their homes with atrain. Because they are so poor, they are shocked too much in thetrain. They eat varied foods here. When they arrived at the place, allof them start to compete with one another. They show their skills tothe leaders who are rulers the competition. According to their skills,the rulers give points to them. When the game starts, all competitorstry to kill one another. But Katniss escape from others, she behavescleverly. By the last scenery, Peeta and Katniss unite each other. Theyrefuse to kill each other, and they decide to die together. They fallin love, and the rule of competition is not important to them. Then therulers accept that this competition will be has two winner. Actually,this movie shows that all of us can do everything for our family andour loves.
13 May 2013
Better than the Trite material deserves.
Let's admit it, this franchise got the green light based upon theteenage vampire movie craze. It is soooo convenient that the ages ofour teenage warriors are exactly the same age range (12-18) as thetarget demographic for said teenage vampire fans. The setup on papersounds pretty contrived: a set of males & females from 12 regions mustfight to the death. As an older adult, I have skipped all thoseTwilight films, and never would find myself interested in this film. Sowhy am I recommending it? Because the filmmakers were able make thestory transcend the genre. This is not an easy task, and my guess itmust have taken many rewrites to find themes and subtlety for a subjectmatter that belongs as a TV show on the CW network. Let's begin withthe actual action scenes where you witness the brutal hunting down andkilling of fellow human beings. You won't really find them in thisfilm. In fact, the focus on weapons and people's skill using them isalso a very minor feature in this film. Instead, the majority of thejourney our protagonists go on is about relationships. Relationshipswith sister, Mother, boyfriend, state, country, mentors, sponsors, andrulers. We even get to learn about the relationship between the TV showproducer and the country's dictator. Then there is the theme about howthe oppressed are reduced to TV show idols, and are forced to performto the whimsy of the viewing masses. The movie "The Truman Show" wentthis direction and mostly failed in it's attempt to humanise it.Somehow, "The Hunger Games" pulls it off. The wealthy class weredeliberately cast with people with strange faces, and painted up likeclowns to make them more like monsters than human.How does this film create believability? For one, the filmmakerscompletely immersed themselves in this alter-reality. Nothing ispainted in broad strokes. Scenes of a poor community come to lifethrough nice human moments, and keep the momentum going while makingthe best of exposition. Scenes requiring exposition in movies are veryhard to make interesting. Again, credit goes to the screenwriters forapproaching exposition in a creative way. Sometimes talking about theeffect of an important plot point, leaving audiences briefly curious,then circling back and explaining why that effect happens. And how comethis movie is 2 1/2 hours and doesn't contain much action? Because thefilmmakers wisely avoided a clichÃ© third act by avoiding predictabilityand keeping expectations fresh for the audience.My only real complaint is that the film did not need to be 2 1/2 hours,even though I bet many character subplots were cut out of the finalversion to make this running time. The second act drags somewhat whileour competitors go through the rituals leading up to the actual game.This is the period where the players train and are evaluated, but onceagain little of this is actually shown. Instead we spend even more timeon, yes, relationships. One of the greatest achievements in this filmis the editing. Through the power of editing, a great deal of story istold in a short period of time. A friendship between two characters isestablished with some body language, instead of clunky dialogue. Themusic avoids bombastic action beats and instead evokes a folky "human"tone, something right in the comfort zone for composer James NewtonHoward. The special effects are a minor part of the movie and don'treally stand out when briefly seen.
13 May 2013
The Running Girl
There have been a lot of comparisons between the new series of TheHunger Games and the Twilight (so-called) "saga" lately, and I'm notinnocent of avoiding paralleling the two. Well, the moment The HungerGames begins, those unfair similarities should be tossed. The twofranchises are as close as the Star Wars episodes and The Alien films.While The Hunger Games isn't perfect by any means measurable, it'slight-years ahead of the Twilight duds. Better acting, dialogue,suspense, action, emotion, heart and special effects are just the tipof the iceberg on how much better The Hunger Games is, but then again,that's just denouncing the comparison.So, I digress. The Hunger Games has really only one major thing goingfor it which is actually making me encourage all to see it: JenniferLawrence (or J-Law.) The actress herself and her fantastic character ofCatnip, er, Katniss are worth the price alone. I already liked hertremendously in Winter's Bone and come to think about it, I believe Isaid the exactly the same thing about that movie. So-so movie,EXCELLENT performance, so much so: everyone should see it just for her.Other than J-Law, this movie was really...eh. Yes, the cinematographywas splendid Â WHEN THE CAMERA WASN'T SHAKING all around when no oneelse was Â and some of the effects were pretty decent. But, damn, wasit ever slow, predicable and has the most LOL vision of the future. Iliterally did laugh out loud every time the clowns of the future wereon screen.Before any fans shoot arrows at me, I have NOT read any of the books.But, even if these ugly and unnecessary 1960s Star Trek rejectedcostumes and makeup designs were in the source material that does NOTmean they have to be in the feature film. I mean, if the screenplaywriter or director didn't update certain characters/costumes, Robin ofBatman Forever/& Robin would look pretty...well, molestable from themuch older Bruce Wayne. And the X-Men even commented on the ridiculousyellow suits and look how great they turned out. Well, for the firsttwo installments, at any rate.(Sadly, they failed to hear this kind of complaint for Captain Americain the forthcoming Avengers movie. Hey! There's still time to edit outthat hilarious uniform, Disney. This goes for you, too, Thor!)Anyhoo, what I am guessing is hundreds of years into our future, thereality TV show lives on (THANKS, America) only this one has the kidskilling other kids. As much as I'm against that, if Jersey Shore stolethis idea, I would finally watch my very first episode of that awfulMTV show. Repeatedly.Not really a spoiler Â seen a movie trailer lately? Â but Catnipvolunteers/sacrifices herself in place of her weakling sister for thiswooded and hologram'med death match of 2 younglings from each of the 12districts (why the aliens from #9 didn't participate is beyond me.) Sheleaves behind an obvious love choice and must fight/help a new lovechoice (Dang, there's that Twilight comparison againÂ ) in order tosurvive the "game" of life.The idea's not new (The Running Man anyone?), but this new horror ofkid on kid deadly violence is. This absolutely should've been Rated Rand be more serious. 'Course, they wouldn't make the money they'll knowthey'll make by copping out to the PG-13 crowds.In all seriousness, this has a VERY violent movie premise and wheneverthe movie tried to make some lite comment or joke, I barely laughedbecause it's like making a teeny-bopper movie about everyone being arapist or molester, but everyone still can enjoy a few laughs from timeto time.Also, as I mentioned, it was slower than it should've been, felt verymuch like the first in a series and seemed to take far too long to getto the actual "Games" than it should've been. All along, I felt thiswas a perfect prequel movie that should've been the fourth film Â Ã laThe Hobbit after we're already invested in the series.OkayÂ that all saidÂ again, it's worth a viewing due to the absolutelyOscar-nomination-worthy performance of J-Law Â who delivered the onlyunpredictable aspect of this movie (I never knew which way hercharacter would sway while all other characters or scenes were A-B-C)and maaaybe a consideration for Woody Harrelson, whom I normally don'tlike, but did great here. No one and I mean no one Â even the VERY cuteguys Â did great, but they were 16-acting-classes ahead of Robert"Eerie Edward" Pattinson, Kristen "Blah Bella" Stewart and Taylor "Jakethe Dog" Lautner of the Twilight series. Oops, sorry about bringingthat up again. See? I'm not immune to the comparisons.And finally, the movie, quite honestly, grabbed my attention enoughthat I really, really look forward to part II. No spoilers because Ihaven't read the novels, but I strongly want one of my new favoritecharacters, Catnip, to take down the establishment. The ideas, thoughpreposterous, are sadly and minutely accurate (ah hem, Nazis orRepublicans, you pick) of a possible and tyrannous outlook of mankind.They're horrifying, although, if this were a 1980s/1990s action flickstarring Arnold or Sylvester, the "man" would've been taken down bynow.Since that isn't the case and this wasn't made 20-30 years ago (thoughyou would believe it was with the costumes, makeup and hair), I'mreally looking forward to seeing my new heroine take on Kiefer's dadand put an end to the games. You go gurl!
13 May 2013
Dont believe the hype! A pale comparison to the book.
SPOILER ALERT: Don't read this unless you've read the book or seen themovie already!This movie lost just about every single emotion of the trilogy. Theonly one that they got right was the "I volunteer" part. Haymitch was afilthy drunk who vomited at their first dinner, they never ate likeravenous beasts at any time even though in the book they were starvingto death (thus the HUNGER part of the games) and thus the need to takeadditional lots in the Reaping for additional food rations (Katniss andGale's name was in that basket several dozen times in order to feedtheir families and also the reason why they hunted). I can understandcutting out some things in the interest of time but when you sacrificethe entire feeling of the book and leave out major plot points at somepoint you have to ask yourself if it was worth it. Here are several things that went terribly wrong: She didn't buy theMockingjay pin it was given to her by the Mayor's daughter whichbasically said that they supported the rebellion against the Capitolstyranny. Haymitch as I mentioned earlier was a intolerable drunk whoonly became helpful to them during the actual training part. When theywere on the roof they though about jumping off and it was not revealedin the movie but there was a forcefield that prevented such action.This is a MAJOR part of the plot because it comes up in the nextmovie/book in a big way. There was a love triangle between Gale,Katniss, and Peta, that was not played out in this book. She lovedGale, and was so awkward she didn't know what to do about it, andentirely faked her love for Peta in order to gain aid in the arena.This was only shown in a barebones fashion but it was a major part ofthe series. Her "fire dress" was actually two dresses and as she stoodand did a twist the first one burned off revealing a smaller dressunderneath. They refer to her as the Mockingjay but that was not doneuntil later in the series. She was just the girl on fire for a while(thus the name of the second book Catching Fire). The book was writtenin first person, we never saw the control room and using it in thismovie only took away from the fear and suspense of what would happennext was disastrous to the movie. At one point she had a flashback toher father's death and they show their cabin blowing up. This is thecabin that she most often lived in to escape her mother who was crazyand shut down after her father's death (and also the reason she had totake care of Primrose, and have to hunt so much and add her name in theReaping so much to get food for their family). Peta's injury was sograve that he barely made it out and as a result he lost his leg andwas forced to walk with a limp for the rest of his life. He did notreceive magic ointment that miraculously fixed everything. Katnissherself was majorly busted up and barely made it out herself. She spenta number of days in recovery after the games. It was understood in thebook that the dogs that they fought in the end were twisted muttations(as they are called) made from the dead contenders in the Hunger Games(thus showing the gruesome evil mind of the capitol) The main part ofthis book was the Games but it felt incredibly rushed. They did NOT seethe grid in the sky letting them know the boundaries of the arena orthat there were even boundaries at all, that added to the mystery anddanger and it was all thrown away.Also I thought that the style of the capitol was toned down to thepoint that it was almost a punchline. They had colored skin and theirhair and wardrobe was described as something otherworldly. This wasjust a bad interpretation of that as it seemed everyone was dressed fora bad idea of a futuristic Prom.This movie was so rushed to get out that it went from a very good bookto a tween movie in the same category as Twilight. I am an adult and Ienjoyed the books very much, at times finding them hard to put down,but this adaptation was lost in translation.Overall as a book to movie translation I give this a grade of D. If youhave trouble reading then it's better to see it than to not experienceany of it, but know that the author's artistic hand was largely lost onthe big screen, while other movies, such as John Carter, proved thatyou can take an idea and actually make it BETTER by moving it to thebig screen. Go see that instead if you read the books. Ignore the hypeof The Hunger Games movie and go read the trilogy. Being a big fan ofthe books I found sitting through this pathetic effort to be painful tothe point of utter boredom. This was made worse by the relativeimmaturity of the audience.
11 May 2013
Well... not an adult movie but somehow entertaining
First of all my expectations regarding this movie weren't that high butwhen a few days ago Eli Roth said that "this shouldn't be a PG13 movie"I thought that maybe this could be one of the classics. I'm not a kidnot a teenager. I've passed my 30's and I do not find Twilight veryamusing. But I do find a movie called "Battle Royale" very very good.It's useless to say that this movie isn't inspired on both movies... Itis. But personally "The Hunger Games" to be a great movie it shouldhave left the soapy and all smoothness aside. This is a good story (alittle Battle Royalish - I can accept that - but this is a movie that Icould have seen any given Sunday afternoon then recovering from ahangover. It lacks of violence (true violence) just like a movie likethat should have. And right, in a s(h)ituation like that and a boy andgirl fall in love... riiiight. It's all a little forced. The CGIweren't that good. I didn't enjoyed anything the final part of themovie with the "DOGS????" running after them. Seemed like it was forcedand that there were no budget left for the final. Well you can't expectto have a dark and violent movie and being a PG13 for kids and teens.When I read that "the expendables II" is going to be a PG13 the firstthing I said was "here comes another kiddy movie"... Same thing withthis one. But hey... I didn't read the books, I was there for the movieand although it was an interesting movie, I don't think it's somethingnew nor I want it to review it later like I did for example with BattleRoyale, Watchmen, 300, Sin City, Hostel, Inglorious Basterds or moverecently Drive. 6/10 for me and... should be lower!
10 May 2013
Read the book or the odds will not be in your favour
The Hunger Games is a good adaptation of good material. As a reader ofthe first book but not the sequels, I liked how Katniss was anindependent and strong character and that it's a teen lit novel thatdoesn't become a love story. The idea is great (I'm a firm BattleRoyale fan) but the writing was only fair- too many cheap cliffhangers-but I felt that it would translate excellently to the screen. However Iwas able to avoid the hype and hold a very neutral, yet educatedstance.The structure of the book is intact. From start to finish the film isvery faithful, with the only exception being that a flashback is toldsporadically in the film instead of being laid out early in the book.The time distribution however is not equal throughout the film: thefirst act is skimmed through. It gets the plot rolling quickly, but thecharacters suffer- something that happens a lot. Gale, Prim and Mom seeso little screen time, which makes The Reaping feels very wrong. Itseems too quiet and empty, despite silence being the point of it.Very early we get to the Capitol, which is lushly realized despite somevery plain visual effects. The costumes and locales are ridiculous,extravagant and ignorant like the citizens who wear and occupy them.And the Games itself jump right out of the book.There's two major, looming problems with the film, which are theassumptions filmmakers made about you and removing the narrator.Suzanne Collins, the author of the books, co-wrote the screenplay. Soin her mind, it is assumed you know anything she leaves out of the filmbecause you have to have read the book. For example, who Foxface is.Readers know, but if you are in the dark you probably won't understanduntil her arc is completed. In fact, most characters disappear in thefilm- Thresh gets one line, Clove, and Rue even. The thing that couldhave rectified this problem was taken out of the film: Katniss'thoughts. The perspective changed in transfer to objective, meaning weonly see what happens, no thoughts about them. Katniss' thoughts couldexplained so much that didn't need to be shown and wasn't. Maybe a fullblown narration wouldn't have worked, but even hearing her think toherself sometimes, or hearing things others said earlier, or evenNathan Drake (Uncharted) style talking to herself could've fleshed outthe world and made the film easier to stomach for those who didn'tread.There are more issues though. The camera gets ridiculous.Understandably, not all of the violence could be shown on screen, butthe action shots here are sickeningly unfocused and uninspired. A latechange to the 'dogs' makes the scene impersonal and has the cheapestscare I've ever seen in a PG film, and like the source material there'snot much closure. Despite a healthy 2:20 runtime, characters are reallyunderdeveloped (Peeta's alliance has no repercussions or explanation,mind-boggling), and it still feels slow in some areas. The visualeffects are lazy- the flaming dress is SO BAD- it put very dangerouswords in my head: cash in. There are some great performances though. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence)is perfect, strong and unaffected by men, and the film thankfully haseven less forced romance than the book. And while it's not played upfor excitement, she kicks some ass for survival. Haymitch (WoodyHarrelson) makes the best of any support. He's captivating, a clearlyhaunted and tired character, but still humorous and helpful. SenecaCrane (Wes Bentley) is a character I can't even remember from the book,and I'm conflicted about him. Some parts he seems too nice to be theGamemaker, and in others he seems too cruel, but he gets a fantasticlast scene that I think was the best original thing they added. It'svery poetic. Lastly Cato (Alexander Ludwig) is the primary tributeantagonist, and I always pictured a very intimidating young man playinghim. So while the casting isn't the best for him, he's convincinglyvicious.The atmosphere slips sometimes. Some parts nail the desperation andhorror of the event, but others actually coaxed laughter from theaudience like a very important and tense last scene from the book thathad the whole theater giggling- still not sure if it was intended to becomedic.The Hunger Games has its ups and downs, but a solid core. It's a fairadaptation of material heavier than its developed audience and it showsin the film that the goal is to make lots of money from fans. It's agood couple of hours but not an especially memorable film. If you're afan of the novels you'll love because you'll actually understand it,but if you're like me, on the fringe, or haven't read them at all,don't feel too bad if you miss this one. 7.5/10
10 May 2013
A Raw Gripping and Emotional Triumph
This is the age where almost every popular book series has to betranslated into a series of films; this is met with various successes.The best in this century is still "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy thatis not only good adaptations but also some of the greatest films everput onto the screen. The "Harry Potter" movie series has finally endedafter 10 years with the film's ranging from good-excellent. These arethe two greatest of the novel adaptations thus far. The "Narnia" serieswas good but is having a little trouble at the box office. The"Twilight" series is ending soon and although has been good box-officesuccesses the films were mediocre at best. Many other series failed tofind footing from the "Percy Jackson" Series (regrettable) to the"Golden Compass." Book fans always hold their breaths when theirfavorite book series heads for the big screen and now the "HungerGames" series is next to head to the big screen. I have no personalread the series but after this outstanding film I think I will takethem up. 'The Hunger Games" is a winner from beginning to end with onlythe smallest of flaws this is a film worth watching.The film (as well as the book) is set in a dark future where thecapitol of the nation of Panem forces each of it's twelve districts tosend a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games which avicious fight to the death and survival. 16 year old Katniss Everdeenvolunteers to take the place of her younger sister in the games butnothing could prepare her for all the choices she most make in thegames and what her actions would weigh on their society.As I have stated before I have not read the books (but I might now) soI can't comment on how well of an adaptation this film is but as a filmit is pretty impressive although the story itself isn't all thatoriginal. Stories and events like the ones depicted in the film havebeen around as early as the Greeks and Romans. These types of storieshave influenced many different writers and filmmakers and there aremany around. As many detractors of the "Hunger Games" have noted thestriking similarity between this and a Japanese film called "BatterRoyal." I wouldn't consider this derivative from that because they areboth clearly influenced by past cultures.The more important question is why have there been so many storiessimilar to the one in this. I think the answer is that it can play tothe audience's emotions. This is something this film does it reallylays the emotion in heavy and you get sucked into this dark world andinto the character's heads. You cannot help wanting to help on screenand rooting for the leads even though you know they might have to takeeach other's lives.These two leads named Katniss and Peatnis are the vocal part of thisfilm. You do get to know the characters pretty well and you pretty muchfrom the get go love and care for them even if their relationshiptogether is a little underdeveloped in the film. Jennifer Lawrenceplays Katniss Everdeen and delivers very strong work in this film. Shecomes off as smart and intelligent and caring but at the same timetough as nails and maybe Jennifer might be a little on the old side toplay this role but she nails it perfectly strumming all the rightnotes. I believe she is stronger in this role than she was in heroutstanding performance as Mystique in "X-Men: First Class" (2011).Josh Hucherson plays Peatnis and I was a bit skeptical at first becauseI never found him to be that good of an actor but he did prove me wrongin this film. He comes off just right as the conflicted strong friendthat doesn't a lick of confidence (okay maybe some) in his body.As I stated before what makes this film so strong is the emotion andthe power in this film. There is several moments throughout the filmwhere stuff hits you hard in this violent and graphic PG-13 movie.Director Gary Ross clearly knows what he is doing behind the camera andprovides excellent camera work that only enhances the powerful moments.Scenes like the riot and several death scenes are brilliantly executedand the lead up too the games starts when the countdown starts isgenius. One of the few flaws with the film is the script does leave afew things unexplained and maybe moves a bit too frisky in thebeginning but these are very minor problems when stacked up againsteverything else.The rest of the actors do very fine work in this film as well. LiamHemsworth does pretty good work here as is a particularly strong WoodyHarrelson. Elizabeth Banks does some very fine work as well as doesLenny Kravitz and Stanely Tucci. Donald Sutherland strikes great notesas President Snow a low-key evil.One other little flaw I had with the film is the decision to go withfake fire. Director Gary Ross does a great job of using practicaleffects throughout the film and never resorting to unnecessary CGI.That being said the fire used did look a little on the fake side andthe way they used it would have been tough to use real fire.The film leaves itself up for a sequel just like the books do and itwill be interesting to see what direction it goes in. I hope the entirecrew return for the next film and this one certainly made me want toread the books for this is a powerful, well acted and very welldirected film. One of the best of 2012.Final Score 8.5/10
09 May 2013
Woahhhh. I recently read the books and I was so exited to see themovie. I mean it was good but it didn't capture the sense of emotionand pain that the books did. It was like one of those 'movies in90secs' it just skipped through it all so there was no time to fit inany of the emotion. And also what happened to district 12, thestarvation, the poorness, the ill hungry people? I really didn't likehow they shook the camera to make it seem more effective. IT DOESN'TWORK!!!! IT MAKES IT LOOK FAKE!!! If I were you i'd just go read thebooks to be honest. They're much better. I don't know how SuzanneCollins saw her amazing book being turned into a cheap film!
07 May 2013
Shaken and stirred
I am a film nut which means I am crazy for directors. Rarely do filmsrise above direction. Gary Ross is not Nolan or Fincher and they arenot Scorsese or Kubrick. In my life I can say that there are now three films that surpass thebook that created them. "To Kill a Mockingbird" was better as a film."On the Beach" was Â better as a film. I had concluded that Gregory Peckmay have been responsible for this. Now I have to add "The HungerGames" to that list. Odd thing is that I did it backwards. I saw thefilm Friday and read the book on Saturday.Â It may be that the first person narrative was not as engaging to me asthe film. I may be pathetic because I am old but I have followedJennifer Lawrence since "Winter's Bone." I thought that she deservedthe Academy Award then. I also know that the politics of that systemallows great performers to be nominated over and over again and neverwin, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. Kate Winslet had to be nominatedfor two great performances in one year to finally win. I just assumed,heck, Lawrence is just a kid and she will get her justice later.Â I thought that she stole every scene in which she appeared in "X-MenFirst Class." That was a character driven cartoon with several terrificactors but even with McAvoy and Fassenbender, Lawrence shined.Â To add to my native, aged prejudice, I am repulsed by theteen-trilogies. If "Lord of the Rings" and "Star Wars" and "The EmprireStrikes Back" offered the best, Â then that is where I drew my lines. Iam a "Hurt Locker" "Tree of Life" kind of movie film fan.Â Perhaps driven by lechery or recognition of talent, I rushed to "TheHunger Games."Â I have been blown away. I don't know how Lawrence manages tocommunicate to a camera as she does. These are not Streep's "Sophie'sChoice" medium shots. These are intimate and intense close shots of thetwitch of the eye, the corner of the mouth.Â The Dystopia runs deep but is passÃ© to me. The world of Harlan Ellisonwas done best by Harlan Ellison. I have been closed to these revisionsof his work.The film, "The Hunger Games" has opened my skull.Â I am not certain if President Snow is Kronos or Zeus but both killtheir children. The Greek Mythology got one thing right, we kill ourchildren. The manipulation of "hope," which was crystal clear in thefilm, did not seem central to the book. It was not Katniss's enduranceor heroism, it was her humanity in the darkness of savagery that brokeme to tears. It is the flickering flame of humanity that has moved meto write this.Â I remain deeply moved. I can't get this out of my head. I am an old manwho wishes our children are better than we are, not better off. Thespiritual elation of the human heart found in children, embodied byLawrence in her portrayal of Katniss, provided me with unexpectedtranscendence.Â
07 May 2013
It was nice
I wouldn't say the movie gave the full embodiment of the book. Therewere some scenes that I wish were still included like the part wherePeeta and Katniss fight near the end that would have been quite nice asa follow-through for the second movie. Anyway, the movie fell short onquite a number of things:1) Some scenes shifted way too fast - for me, seeing those transitionswere a little disturbing but on the perspective of the filmmakers theburden of introducing the story to the non-readers is hard which isprobably why they had to do it in that pace. 2) Action scenes felt fake - I guess this is what you can possibly workwith when you only have a PG 13 rating. But I for one, found thisannoying because one of the reasons I loved the books was how graphicSuzanne described the fight scenes. In the movie, in order to preservethe rating, they kept on muting the sound which was very irritating.They should consider increasing the rating next time although I doubtthis is remotely possible. But when there are downsides there are some great things about themovie:1) Ms. Lawrence as Katniss - She was impeccable. I loved how sheembodied the Katniss that we loved in the books. She was hot-headed,charming, and had the right mix of emotions to just emulate Katnissfrom the books. 2) Time lapse - there was no tension of being bored. The time just wenton by, which for me is a great consideration in choosing awesomemovies. All these ups and downs of the movie made it awesome as it was. I couldnot give it a perfect no matter how long I've waited for the movie butthe entirety of it was more than satisfactory. Hopefully, we will getmore in November of 2013. See you again Tributes!