|The Hunger Games Review|
Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister's place for the latest match. To show off my bonafides, yes, I have read this trilogy, so yes, I am just as qualified as you to bitch and moan about this movie. And as a relatively important aside...I was not a huge fan of the books, thought they were a tad derivative, but I am also older than the target audience and have read and seen The Running Man and watched Battle Royale (which if you missed it, check it out) and feel these are all very similar works.
But before the bitching I am going to go with what I liked. It's a shorter list.
Now I figure if you are reading this review after a 155 million opening weekend, you are either reading this review at work bored out of your mind, or you read all the reviews after you see the movie just to see who agrees with you and who disagrees with you on it. Not sure where this one will fit in with those parameters.
Anyway, let's start with the actors. First off, casting Jennifer Lawrence was a smart move...she can be tough, she can act and she can sell the action sequences.
Stanley Tucci - no shock there, Stanley Tucci should be in almost every movie if you can fit him in and afford him.
Wes Bentley's beard. Wes was fine, but that beard he sports as Game Master Seneca Crane is a scene stealer.
And then there is Woody Harrelson. He has the best role, (as in) the most fun role...he makes it look easy.
I felt that Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray really boiled down the essence of the book to bring most of it to the big screen. So solid script and a good cast, and yet, with this effort I came out of the film with a mild disappointment.
I love Elizabeth Banks...think she can do comedy and drama, and when I heard she was playing the very over the top Effie Trinket, thought, now that is good casting. But I was (and am) surprised to see that she really didn't go as over the top as I had expected and hoped for.
Some other minor complaints, while they showed a lens in a tree explaining how people in the districts get to to see the action in the games themselves, though Gary Ross as director really missed out on playing up this element, really showing it as a TV show. Sure there are cuts to Tucci as Caeser Flickerman, host extraordinaire giving commentary, but how about score boards, stats and tickers really driving home the reality and sporting aspect of what is being shown, make it the spectacle that it is meant to appear as to the residents of the districts.
But the element that really killed me watching this film, that really stops me from praising it in any way, shape or form, is the camera work. It has that pseudo shakey 'you are there' camera work that is just annoying and makes the action look weak. Look, Documentary crews do their best to get the best shots, and with all the cameras supposedly in place to cover the action we should have great camerwork everywhere. And I know the camera crew can pull it off as all the scenes in the Capitol looked great.
I hated this technique in the Bourne films and I really hope people who can't do action drop this style soon. When no one can tell which character just hit another character until after the scene is over, there's an issue.
But in the end, the film opened to 155 million, cost only 80 million to make, so I am pretty sure Lion's gate could give a rat's ass what I say...so you can be sure they are ready to start shooting the second book in the trilogy, Catching Fire. (update: Apparently it has a November 22, 2013 release date slated)
The Hunger Games izle