March 23, 2012

"The Hunger Games" Movie Review

I've never seen so many side braids in one room.

Last night I went to the midnight showing of "The Hunger Games."  The median age of the attendants was about half my age, which amounts to 14.45 (I'm not thirty YET.  Let's not rush things.).  The overwhelming amount of teens in the theater was evident during a trailer for "Titanic 3D."  (Fact: I have never seen "Titanic" out of principle.  It just sounds so dadgum awful, I'm sorry.  I love Kate Winslet but I don't think I could handle all the cheesy drama . . . set to Celine Dion no less.)  Kate Winslet cried to Leo, "I'll never let you go, Jack!"  A girl in the audience shouts at the screen, "But you DID!"  Perhaps the younger crowd had the right idea, though . . . many had showed up two hours early to get a seat.  My friend and I came about 45 minutes early and had to endure the neck breaking seats way up front.  I'd like to see the movie again, if not just to see it without my head cocked to the side like a terrier the entire time.

Overall, I have to say I don't think the filmmakers could've done a better job of adapting Suzanne Collins' book to screen.  When the screen went to black, I had a feeling of disappointment.  Not in the movie itself but in my reaction to the movie.  I guess I expected to be blown away.  When I thought about it, I realized that I wasn't "blown away" because the film was so close to the book.  It was so true to what I imagined and felt as I read the book that it didn't feel new.  I know that doesn't sound like a compliment but for a film adaptation, I feel that is the highest compliment I can give.  When I went over the movie in my mind, I realized its greatest achievement was that of tone.  Tone is one of the hardest (if not the hardest) elements to get "right" in storytelling.  Collins' novels carry a gravity and melancholy that elevates them above the other Young Adult sci-fi novels with which they share Barnes and Noble shelf space.  The movie executed that melancholy perfectly through a fabulous score by James Newton Howard and amazing performances.  Jennifer Lawrence is Katniss Everdeen.  Her performance is pitch perfect, not to mention she is easy on the eyes.  If only I could look that good without any makeup . . . sigh.

The other players are strong as well.  Josh Hutcherson makes for an adorable, naive Peeta.  He and Jennifer Lawrence have great chemistry.  Their scenes together were very "real" (sorry, couldn't help myself) and rang true.  It made me want to see the sequels already!  By the end of the film I was completely in love with him.  Which brings me to Gale.  As I read the books, I was always Team Peeta.  Liam Helmsworth, the actor that plays Gale, doesn't make it that easy.  My goodness, that boy is (as we would say in the 90s--since these cute boys take me back to my teen years) FINE.  How did Miley Cyrus land him?  I mean, really.  Call Robert Stack, it's an Unsolved Mystery.  (Give me a break, I'm going on four hours of sleep, here.)  The only actor I was disappointed in was Woody Harrelson.  I thought he could've brought more to the table, especially since he's such a great actor.  I think he could've hammed it up more.  Oh, well.

The only other complaint I have is about the effects.  Some of the CGI during the Capitol sequences was not up to par in my opinion, but again, I was so close to the screen that I can't say for sure.  Also, Peeta's camoflauge was so ridiculous I did laugh out loud . . . but I thought that plot point in the book was kind of silly too.  

Overall, it was fabulous and it left me wanting more . . . in a good way.  I want to read the books over again and I cannot wait for the sequels.  I loved this film so much I might even go at midnight for the sequels . . . terrier neck and all.


Jen said...

Yes but for the NEXT midnight showing we're going to get there earlier!!! I definitely want to see it again...from a little bit further (farther?) back. I agree with all points of your review. Especially the FINE looking Liam Helmsworth--let's hope he gets more screen time in the next one! :)

Anonymous said...

Wheeeeeeee!!! I'm going tonight. I loved reading your review, and I can't wait to see if I feel the same. Will letcha know. ;)

Jill said...

Great review! I've been thinking I was just going to wait until it comes out on dvd to see it but this makes me want to go soon--maybe this coming weekend I can talk my husband into taking me for my birthday. :)