“The Hunger Games” Fills My Moviegoer Heart

In Theaters: March 23, 2012
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for for intense thematic violent material and disturbing images -- all involving teens)
Action/Adventure, Adaptation, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Run Time:
2 hours 22 minutes

Director: Gary Ross

JJ Rating: A-
Book to Movie Rating: B+

The Capitol initiates the Hunger Games for punishment against the 12 districts. Two teens, one male and one female, from the twelve districts go into the Hunger Games and only one comes out alive and the winner. In the 74th Annual Hunger Games Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers as Tribute so her sister doesn't have to enter the games. Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) joins her as the male from District Twelve. Only one will come out of the Hunger Games as winner. Of the 24, will it be Katniss? The Hunger Games.

15 Good Things About This Film

  1. Costumes were sensational. Award winning creations. The Capitol looked as ostentatious as I had imagined. District 12 looked as downtrodden as described. Judianna Makovsky did a creatively beautiful job. Her previous works of costumes I recall as good: X-Men Last Stand, Seabiscuit, Pleasantville, Big. I don’t recall Big being awesome, I just like the film.
  2. Jennifer Lawrence created an onscreen Katniss that didn’t deviate far from my reading vision. She looks good with a bow and arrow. Strong, silent and powerful is how I viewed Katniss and that’s what I got. I know she’s not totally silent, but she does more inner thinking than speaking. Which is where Lawrence's facial expressions come into play.
  3. Josh Hutcherson worked a Peeta Mellark that I liked. Reserved, smart and self-sacrificing. He also has a charm about him. He was the best part of The Kids Are All Right. Cause outside of him, that movie sucked and the characters were as annoying as the morons that sat to the left of me. If their intent was to bore me with a family I didn't really care about, they did a good job.
  4. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch was decent. He was off by a bit, but I can see him working. I don’t understand why they didn’t have his drunk fall at the reaping. That would have added a lot.
  5. Elizabeth Banks made Effie come alive. She didn’t have a lot of screen time, but every moment she spoke I felt as if she jumped right out of the book. The clothes mattered, but her attitude shined brilliantly that if she were unLady Gaga clothes, I'd still buy it.
  6. I have to mention Amadla Stenberg who played Rue because there’s all kinds of internet bile going on. I read the books and her race in the film didn’t bother me. It’s not a major factor for me – the race of a character. She was adorable, sweet and the tree scene with the tracker jackers was the right amount of emotional care.
  7. I liked the subtly of silence from Katniss at times as well as with what is important later on in the other films…such as the roses for President Snow.
  8. The deaths during the Hunger Games were well done. For the most part they all happened just as they did in the book. All except for the last one.
  9. The musical score by James Newton was idoneous. It added smooth layer to the film creating an ambiance that made it memorable.
  10. The control room and how the Gamemasters worked wasn’t ever describe in the book because it was in first person. The way they controlled the domed area for the games was awesome. Visually beautiful and technologically perspicacious. I wanted to work there. Not to kill children, but to mess with all that tech.
  11. The interiors of the train and their suite were awesome. Whacky furniture that fit like blue hair on an old lady playing bridge. They did such an exceptional job with from costumes to the set. I’m still thinking about how sensational everything looked. I think that Suzanne Collins would be giddy over seeing her book come to life in such a wowing way. I would be.
  12. Gary Ross did a better than bad job. I like most of the film and therefore I suppose I should be pleased with how he did it. He just needs a bit of tweaking to conciliate me.
  13. I'm not a book-to-movie snob like quite a few book readers are. I know what they took out of the movie that's in the book and with that in mind I can say they were pretty faithful with their allotted time.
  14. They have scenes with President Snow and Seneca Cane that are added to give some foreshadowing and overall understanding of why the games progress the way they do. I think that one of the scenes at the end that they switched up differently from how the book tells it, is a great addition.
  15. I love the way banks reached into get the female name. So dainty. So Effie. And the way she said “And may the odds be ever in your favor” gave me goosebrainbumps. I felt them crest, crush and curl through my brain. Readergazm.

6 Bad Things About This Film

  1. There are a lot of names in this film and throughout the trilogy. For film’s sake, they shouldn’t have used their names if they weren’t going to allow for recognition. Such as with Foxface. I’m sure not many knew who that was outside of who read the book.
  2. Fight scenes would have been awesome to watch if it weren’t for the shaking. I hate not seeing what’s going on because the camera is so close to their face. Their face is no longer important. What they’re doing is.
  3. Peeta and Katniss didn’t have as strong of a connection as they did in the book. This isn't any kind of love triangle that's brewing. This is realization that Katniss has feelings at all that are remotely close to love. She's living in a world that isn't made for that kind of love. She doesn't even want to have kids for fear they'd be in the Hunger Games. She dismisses that kind of love. There had to be more apprehension to make it work. For me. 
  4. Not having Haymitch fall off the stage at the beginning as he does in the book missed a great opportunity of sum up his character without wasting a breath.
  5. When Peeta tells Katniss to run is a cheesy moment that I didn't like. They shouldn't have had him do it that way. Hutcherson can do better and they didn't urge him to.
  6. I wished they allowed the mockingjays to stick around. In the book when the hovercrafts come to pick up the dead bodies, the mockingjays fall silent. They didn't have that in the film. They never showed the bodies being picked up. I don't know why they decided against that. At least they allowed the cannon fire.

What could it have done to get an A+?

The shaking camera was a massive buzz kill whenever it occurred. It removed me from the film, making me realize I'm watching. The dumb heifers that sat next to me did that as well, but that had to do with their stupid need to talk to one another. They didn't finish their popcorn. Who spends 7 inflated dollars on popcorn and not finish it? Teens who don't pay for the ticket. That's who. If I could hit people and get away with it, I just might have. I was about to preform a Hunger Game scene right then and there.

If the love between Katniss and Peeta that brews was more for show I would have really liked this film more than I do. That's why I liked “The Hunger Games” because it wasn't about her love for anyone. It just so happen that she needed to play on the love to get stuff. A bit of playing for the cameras.

And in conclusion...
This entire Rue diabolical with the douchebags of the internet going on and on about how she shouldn't be black is stupid. Why are they not upset that Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) is black? Actually I don't care. I would feel so upset that my writing attracted such human trash that I'd would care if I insulted my readers by speaking up on behalf of the film and the actress, who, by the way, doesn’t deserve to be treated that way. At all.

If you are NOT a douchebag reader and you have NOT bothered to see The Hunger Games, you should. It's one of the better adaptions I've ever seen. Don't starve yourself during this drought of good movies worthy of spending hard earned money and time to see. It's worth it. The more I think about The Hunger Games the more I like it despite it's shaking camera syndrome that makes me want to punch a camera man in the balls. Really, filmmakers, STOP. DOING. THAT. Thank you for listening. You'll make $50 million dollars more if you resist the urge to make a film feel as if I'm watching a cheap Japanese Godzilla film.

And may the odds be ever in your favor.  


Kelly Matherly-Urban said...

(I guess I posted this on the wrong movie?? It was meant for The Hunger Games)

You failed to mention the bad ass special effects makeup! In particular, Peeta's painting/camouflage. It was better than I had hoped fore (but with Ve Neill on staff, what do you expect?) If for nothing else, I would see the movie again just to see the terrific job on Peeta's painting-camouflage. I loved more than just the makeup though, there wasn't much that disappointed me (minus the anoying teens in the audience).

Like you, I gave it an A-

J_Jammer said...

Ah, I did forget to mention that. The make up was awesome.

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