Will watch again!
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Its sad how they couldnt show that "weird" connection between Katniss and Haymitch in the movie. I'm sure those of you who read the book will know what I'm talking about. 9 / 10.
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
I haven't read yet Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games, the phenomenally popular young adult trilogy that instigated a cult following, and is now a crazily talked-about motion picture from Lionsgate.
The story is actually just another version of a common dystopian theme previously seen in films, novel-based or otherwise: a group of people who, against their own will, are locked in a fighting arena to kill each other off for one victor to emerge. Kill to survive. With two core objectives: control and entertainment.
So, what does The Hunger Games's version offer?
It's some time in a dystopian future, in post-apocalyptic North America now called Panem, a nation divided into 12 districts governed by the city of Capitol, the seat of a totalitarian government. Every year, the Capitol holds for its rich and couture-wearing dwellers a reality game show-- like a combination of America's Next Top Model and Survivor: The Hunger Games. The contestants or "tributes" are pairs of boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 18, "reaped" or randomly chosen from each district to kill each other off (after some fashion makeover) in a televised domed arena in Capitol. Our heroine, 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen (Academy Award nominee Jennifer Lawrence), hails from the poorest district, 12, and volunteers as a tribute in place of her "reaped" younger sister.
Unable to finish the similarly themed Battle Royale due to its sick and graphic violence on children, I was a bit apprehensive to see The Hunger Games, but then found some assurance because of its PG-13 rating. Directed by Gary Ross (Seabiscuit), the movie's violence is "family friendly," the act of killing quick, edited to a blur, so that the violence is not your primary source of art and entertainment but is clearly only a subtext to portray a courageous heroine in an oppressed society. The film is more of an adolescent adventure story rather than that of a grim and violent disturbing nature.
Jennifer Lawrence was perfectly cast as the bow-and-arrow-toting Katniss, which quickly recalls her hard-bitten, impoverished and fearless character in 2010's Winter's Bone where she got nominated Oscar Best Actress; the same determined and indomitable spirit of her character is also transparent in her somber and matured countenance in this movie. Lawrence, indeed, has the power to captivate you, and it is clear that her strong onscreen presence contributed largely to the movie's engaging factor.
The Hunger Games provides a solid storytelling, consistently bleak despite the colorful, showbiz-happy Capitol. The suspense and tension, though, is minimal, mostly because Ross eliminated almost all the violence, leaving only a faint sense of threat to the protagonist. The lack of terror, especially when you know that the heroine will survive, has made some parts a bit boring; however, the smooth flow of the screenplay and its fast-paced and unpredictable moments will carry you to its triumphant ending.
The cinematography is fairly visually pleasing. The first few minutes of the film, though, uses an almost dizzying shaky-cam treatment to project the tension and the terrifying fate of the children on Reaping Day, in a stark and almost archaic atmosphere of District 12, but then eventually normalizes towards the artfully modern Capitol City.
The Hunger Games, with a good cast (including Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson) may not be as mind-blowing to me as the fans hyped it up to be-- but it surely stands out among similarly themed stories. Despite the violent premise (and a common one at that), the story has a heart. Most notably, the film has managed to successfully put on a pedestal an extraordinary heroine, who is not only an admirable young woman still strongly in touch with humanity and morals, but is also a symbol of hope and change in a seemingly hopeless situation. The Hunger Games will not feed your violent fetish, no-- but it's a kid-friendly, interesting, smart, and entertaining social commentary of a not-so-distant world.
Still worth the movie ticket and might encourage you to read the book.
Also starring Josh Hutcherson, Lenny Kravitz, and Elizabeth Banks.
8 out of 10 stars
The Hunger Games hits Philippine theaters on March 23, 2012
From the Official PEx Movie Reviews thread.
Last edited by Lola_Rose; Mar 23, 2012 at 03:41 PM.
Just watched Hunger Games..
My ranking is 9/10
This movie is dope!
It's terrifying, exhilirating, depressing, and heartpounding!!!
Gosh nagfeeling bagets ako dito sa movie na to..
Feeling ko 15 pa lang ako...
Kilig na kilig ako kay Peeta and Katniss!!
I liked the competition going on. Fight until death.
It's kinda similar to the Japanese movie Battle Royale but a less gory.
They have no superpowers here. Just pure skills and brains.
I feel that I'm also part of the hunger game and I like to f%$ng kill those villains.
Fight scenes are not that clear. Too bad I wanna see every move they make. I hoped that they copied somehow the 300 and Immortal fighting scenes where it's done in slow motion and perfect.
First lemme say this: I watched the movie twice not because I liked it but because I was waiting for it to sweep me off my feet. Sadly, it didn't.
There are times when the book is better than the movie and the times when the movie is better than the book. For starters I like how they opted to start in medias res giving the chance for the movie-goers who have not read the book a brief backgrounder. Seneca Crane gives an effective summary of what Hunger Games are all about in such a way that we understood how the people from the Capitol vis-a-vis how district people view it.
Having read the book, I was really looking forward to the presentation of the tributes and boy the chariot parade with Katniss and Peeta blazing with fire (apparently where she got her nickname as the 'girl on fire') and I thought that was it but the part where I actually felt goosebumps were when they held hands and raised it for everyone to see, plus the fire and Ceasar Flickerman's commentaries. That was really powerful. It was really a sight to behold.
The game room additions rewards the readers with a new angle of how to view the story: straight from the very eyes of Seneca Crane. From the fire, to the mutts. The time-to-time rejoinders on how Gale sees the budding relationship between the star-crossed lovers is such a crowd pleaser. That kiss, it was hilarious especially when the camera closed-up on Gale.
I'm pretty sure it was just sweat that formed below my eyes when Katniss was doing his tribute for Rue then she did the district salute but the inclusion of the District 11 uprising is a stroke of genius because it preludes how Katniss actions' albeit unintended sparked the future revolutions and why later on she'll have to step in as the symbolic mockingjay, the hope that President Snow cites to be more powerful than fear.
After the movie, Lady Gaga will find a harder time being more creative. Pardon me Gaga fans but Effie shamed her. "That's mahogany!"
To add: I was disappointed that they did not tackle, even in passing, the Avox which to me, is a necessary subtheme.
what if nag lord of the rings vibe ang hunger games at nag 3 hours? they could have[spoiler start] introduced the Avox and Madge, and more action sa games.[spoiler end] I liked the overall minimalist aura, no over the top action scenes. [spoiler start]Getting real fire and not the CG one during the parade, kahit gumamit ng body doubles, mas ok sana, IMO. At dahil PG-13, sayang yung kagat ng tracker jackers, ang gory gory nung pagkakaimagine ko with all the pus. nitpicking a very very good movie.[spoiler end]
looking forward for the 3rd Quarter Quell, pano kaya idedepict yung [spoiler start]throat slashing without the gore?[spoiler end]
Andami palang hindi alam na si lenny kravitz si Cinna haha
The fight scenes are not that gory and detailed due to it's PG13 rating. It would have been better had it been the otherwise but then teeny boppers would not be able to see with without an older chaperone.
I would also have switched Josh H & Liam H's characters. Though Liam's fine and hunky, Josh could have been a tad taller than Katniss. Josh looks older than Liam with his facial lines. And Katniss looks healthy as opposed to her "opressed" character.
Effie and Cinna was spot on though there isn't much focus and time on the other supporting stylists such as Portia and the likes. I do love Haymitch's humor and bluntness.
I don't think Seneca died that peaceful, I thought he was ordered to be killed not ordered to eat Nightlock berries. President Snow was also spot on. He is very methodical on what he say, perfect for building his character on the upcoming books.
2.5hrs is not enough for me. I want more!
Quotes that lingered: Hope is powerful than fear.
That is Mahogany! - Lady Gaga ain't got nothing on our Effie now.
I still think Hollywood today is a subdued and less homogeneous version of Panem.
^To me the nightlock berries were not used properly because there was no way for Katniss to know that they are poisonous, perhaps there could have been a flashback included during the tracker jacker hallucinations where his father could've placed them on his plant journal.
I actually like how Snow ordered Seneca's death. See, President's Snow's love for roses says a lot about his leadership. Flowers are fragile hence should be handled with very intricate care. Snow's leadership does not necessarily include brute force, he has his country on his hands by playing on their minds. Note that he is unlike most Capitol citizen, he is not dressed in typical Capitol garb yet he has their loyalty and support.
here's my review:
I walked out after 1 hr. The movie looks cheap with it's heavy use of handheld cameras. It's nice to see woody harrelson and stanley tucci with hair! it's not as good as battle royale dahil walang graphic decapitations or violence. The difference between an R film and PG-13.
^Hunger Games is not about the gore. It is beyond that but I digress since this will be more explained in the two next installments.
The handheld camera would have been good only in the Arena but I gotta agree that the opening scenes appeared to be pretty shaky. The only thing that crossed my mind on why they used handheld cameras on the opening scenes is that the producers and directors opted to give it an 'independent feel' or perhaps the original plan was still Katniss' perspective until somewhat in the middle film, they decided to give it a twist and present it in an omniscient vantage point.
I considered myself lucky, as I realized that I’d be able to catch the cinema premiere and watch the movie version within the same week I’ve finished with the series- as some fans must have waited years for this. And then I thought I was really lucky- as I was able to score 2 tickets for the premiere night and watch it the day after I was done with the third book, thanks to a dear friend of ours (you know who you are!)
Could’ve been better points:
-The casting of Peeta, I just wish they could’ve chosen a taller actor. I’ve heard that Aaron Johnson vied for the role? Not really sure- but I think he could’ve pulled the role off. Having said that, I think that Josh Hutcherson was ‘just okay’ for the role.
-I also imagined Robert Downey Jr. for Haymitch- that would be interesting to watch. Nevertheless, Woody Harrelson was ‘just okay’ too.
-I wish there was more of the blood and violence in the arena. But of course I understand that they wanted to achieve the PG-13 rating, I can only hope that they release a Director’s cut or extended version in DVD.
-I was waiting for the hover crafts to appear everytime a tribute dies, but there was none.
-The death of rue seemed too toned down for me, I was waiting for the mocking-jays to sing/hum with Katniss or for the sky to turn colors or something
Very nice points:
-the depiction of the Districts and the Capitol, I think they came close (or more) to what I’ve imagined in the books. The shaky camera treatment on some parts of the movie does not turn me off like some few were.
-The casting of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, overall I really think she did justice to the role.
-Effie Trinket ! “That’s Mahogany!”
-I like how the movie had not strayed away from the main substance of what the book is about and never diverted too much from the flow of the story in the books
-the first 1/3 of the film was really engaging. From the reaping to the parade of the tributes to the one-on-one of the participants with the Game makers. Goosebumps!
Overall- I think Gary Ross did a nice job translating the book into the big screen, and it really helped that Suzanne Collins had a hand in writing the screenplay. I hope that she’s involved all throughout the 3 more films to come.
As a movie, it's still pretty good- even for those who have not read the books.
My rating: 8.5/10
read more here
I actually liked the shaky cinematography. it makes me feel like Im katniss, or Im rue.. and Im really in Panem playing hunger games there.. haha
Mine is 8.5/10.
I didn't mind the changes because I knew they are brewing things for the next 2 movies.
I honestly think it could've been better. I was expecting Battle Royale meets Lord of the Flies meets a Shakespearean tragedy. I didn't really read the book so my expectations were probably a lot different than most.
I haven't read the book yet...
...and I enjoyed the movie, makes we want to read the book more.
Actually matagal ko nang balak basahin, wala lang talagang panahon (sorry, Master stranded, huling huli na ako sa PEx Book Challenge), at sa sobrang tagal na naipagpaliban ko, naabutan ko tuloy tong pelikula. To think I'm very critical when it comes to film adaptations of books I love.
So it comes as a surprise that I enjoyed it even without having read the book(s). I guess having a big fan with me when I saw it helped out with some of the minor plot points, pero nagustuhan ko pa rin sya nonetheless.
Gary Ross opted for a more subdued, gritty take on the direction, which I appreciate when first I expected a "hey-look-at-me-I'm-supposed-to-be-epic-with-my-big-story-and-awesome-special-effects" adaptation, and probably would have made it pretentious. So good thing he avoided that and chose to ground it towards realism, the indie-movie feel that others have already mentioned.
I won't comment further on the story, but for me the weak point was that the film wasn't as immersive as I wanted it to be. I mean, the film wants to draw you into its universe, that there is this Capitol that should be oppressive, and all the citizens of the various Districts are poor victims of the state, etc., they're just saying it, but you don't really get to live in it.
I can feel the director and scriptwriters' (also Ross and Suzanne Collins herself) pain in condensing the book, that when the story tries to get deeper, it really can't because the story has to move along. It's a missed opportunity to explore the world above and beyond what the book tells us, considering he also directed Pleasantville, which was very good in sending you into the place and time of the story and exploring the boundaries of that created world. Anyway, I guess that's the price you have to pay for book-to-film adaptations, you win some, you lose some.
Fortunately, what remains is just right, and executed smoothly. The shaky-cam was off-putting for the first few moments, but it gets better. In fact I think it was used cleverly throughout: notice how it's used most in District 12 and the Arena scenes, while those in the Capitol use the more stable shots, reflecting the feelings of our POV character Katniss depending on her location.
I find the acting surprisingly good. Sure you've got an Oscar nominated lead, but the supporting cast is very effective as well. The score I didn't really notice at first, but it does try to get to you, it's a bit country-based, perhaps a reflection of Katniss' home and therefore becomes part of her identity.
Overall, it's engaging to a point, isn't pretentious and while there will always be something lost in the translation from page to screen, what we see is very entertaining. I can very well say it's lived up to the hype. 8/10