Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hunger Games Review - SPOILERS

I was lucky enough to get to see The Hunger Games World Premiere on Monday March 12, 2012 in L.A. at the Nokia Theatre. After an overnight in the fan-camp "The Hob" meeting many of the cast and then front row of the black carpet, I was so excited to see the film.


More... It opens with Caesar & Seneca talking about the games. I was shocked it opened this way, but it quickly went back and told us the story of Katniss.

They quickly established the strong relationship between Primrose and Katniss as Primrose has a bad dream and is comforted by Katniss' lullabye. If you hadn't read the books the significance of this lullabye, along with a hissing cat greeting Katniss afterwards would be lost.

Katniss goes out into the forest through the gate and sees a deer. Gale interupts her hunting and there is some friendly flirtatious banter. They discuss the reaping and their future. He says they can escape and runaway.

Back home they prepare for the reaping as Prim and Katniss get dressed up and prettied.

There is nothing on their dad or the story there, but they do show a photo of him on the mantle. I think you need to have read the book to understand the implications of these types of minor additions to the film.

In the good-bye Katniss gives a firm talk to her mother on being strong, again from the books we know what happened with their mother and Katniss says she simply can not check-out again, Prim needs her.

It is very moving and yet another bawl fest comes on when she says her good-bye to Prim. This is the scene Jennifer Lawrence used for her audition and got her the role. It has been quite public how she brought Gary Ross to tears, understandably so.

The training is awesome. We see Peeta paint his arm in camo and after the other tributes pick on him Katniss gives him a pep talk on how he can throw bags of flour over his shoulder and to stand up to them - and so he does.

Katniss' scene when she is being tested is awesome. After missing her first arrow, the capitol reps and sponsors lose interest and she grabs their attention well shooting the arrow into the apple in the pigs mouth, leading to the highest rating.

The interviews are awesome, as are the outfits. I wish they had included more from each tributes interview. Peeta proves to be very charasmastic and a bit mysterious. They frequently flash to the "bread scene" throughout the movie, slowly revealing a bit more. In his interview he talks about Katniss' as we have seen in the clip all over the internet.

Cinna was not as extravagant as I hoped. He did have faint gold eyeliner but I really expected a bit more. His relationship with Katniss was established quickly and seemed genuine and tender. Her dress in the arena to the interview is awesome - we have seen photos of the coal black outfits that light on fire. The interview dress, however, was less like the book. It did have jewels on her shoulder then a red dress and the bottom then lights on fire as she spins. Still beautiful and keeps the focus on the "girl on fire"

Once the actual games start things get intense. the cornacopia is nothing like I imagined, more of a metal structure shaped as the horn than perhaps what I envisioned. It worked.

Sadly, some of the lovely tribute children played by cute actotrs and actresses I had just meton the carpet were killed instantly.

It is not as graphic as I expected, it has mostly off-screen violence and implied deaths, though I can tolerate a lot of violence so my interpretation may not be accurate. The most "graphic" scene to me was when the tracker-jackers sting Clove and they show her stung dead body and face.

But that is later, first we get the run to the cornacopia, the run away, the battles, the deaths then the journey.

It seemed to go too fast for me at times and too slow at times. I kept wanting to see certain things and felt anxious waiting and hoping they were included.

I can't recall sequential order at this time but here are some points I recall and wanting to discuss.

The scene when Rue points out the tracker jacker hive near Katniss and she is cutting the branch to send it down tot he tribute alliance waiting at the bottom of the tree.... the branch is SO thick - even though I know the outcome, I am sitting there wondering how on earth she will ever get through that branch.

The flower tribute to Rue was done well, I was worried it wouldn't be but I was satisfied, though ugly-crying the whole time - in fact from when they started to bond I started to bawl, just knowing what was to come.

Also, they show Rue's district do the three finger salute to the screen when Katniss' does the flowers for Rue and then they show the riot start which foreshadows what is to come in future movies.

The cave scene was really well done, it was funny how you were waiting for Peeta and Katniss kiss then they did and everyone cheered, then they showed Gale and everyone went "awn"

They built the triangle/conflict well in the movie. I was worried it wouldn't translate since so much of the book, including the cave, was Katniss' internal thoughts on Peeta and Gale and the differences and how she felt.... but in the movie they couldn't possible show that, instead they did subtly flashes back home to people watching the Hunger Games and flashes of Gale's concern over Peeta and Katniss.

The mutts at the end were vicious but there was no indication they were past contestents, or their eyes, or had anything to do with them, which was disappointing snce that was one of the more disturbing parts of the novel.

The end interview with Peeta and Katniss was good, you could see a change in Katniss and it was really well done. It ends a little differently than the novel, though I read all three so fast I can't be exact certain of where each novel ended, but in the movie they don't start their tour yet, they just return home.

Overall it is a good adaptation and I can't wait to watch it again to see more parts I am forgetting now as I write this (totally sleep deprived) Thoguhts? Have you seen it yet?

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