Friday, March 23, 2012

The Hunger Games–a movie review

In January it was my 12yo nieces turn to pick the book for our family book club and I was pleasantly surprised that she  picked the book The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  I had heard all my friends talk about it for a long time, but just hadn’t picked it up myself and was glad for an excuse to.  When I borrowed it from a friend she game me all 3 books in the series, knowing I’d want to read them all.  And she was right.  I read all 3 books in less than a week and impatiently waited for my husband to finish the first one, then the second, then the third so we could discuss it. 

After reading the books I devoured the movie trailers online and began looking at who the actors were going to be and researching all I could about the movie.  I could hardly wait for it to come out!  My anticipation peaked as I was given the opportunity to go to the one advanced screening in the Houston area and was thankful they let me bring my husband and have a good date night! 


Let me start my review by saying, “I loved it!”  If you don’t know the premise of the movie/book there are about a million links out there to summarize it for you, so I won’t bore you with it here. It followed the book very well and I feel that if you liked the book you will probably like the movie.  Obviously there had to be some differences between the book and the movie, but in general I liked the changes made. 

The book is written entirely from Katniss’s point of view, while the movie allows you to see some of what else is going on behind the scenes with some of the other supporting characters like Gale and Haymitch and President Snow and Seneca Crane.  Some of the things I didn’t like about the book (like a specific mutation in the genetically altered dogs) didn’t make it into the movie either, so that made me happy.  I was worried about how the violence would be handled, but was pleased that while it had to be there to stay true to the book, it was handled in a manner as not to be too gratuitous.

Part of what made the movie so well done was the casting of the supporting characters.  Lenny Kravitz, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, and Elizabeth Banks really helped make this movie.  And Liam Hemsworth who played Gale…he was nice to look at!  I look forward to him playing a greater role in later movies so I can look at him even more!  I did think Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson did a really good job too, but I don’t feel inclined to gush over them. 

One of the things I was disappointed in was the lack of depth about how real or pretend the romance between Katniss and Peeta was at the end of the movie.  I think the book handled that better, but I’m going to assume they are just waiting to flesh that out more in the subsequent movies.  I also wished it had shown a little more depth with the relationship between Katniss and Rue, but I understand they can’t do everything with the time constraints of the movie. 

I’m not sure that this movie will make the cut for movies I want to own in my video collection (we’re kinda picky), but it might.  I do want to read the books again and yes, I would like to watch the movie again. 

Basically, if you’ve read the book you’ll probably like it, and if you haven’t read the book and can get past the dystopia of the premise, you’ll probably like it too. 

Thanks again to Lionsgate for giving free movie passes to my husband and I and letting us see it before it officially came out.  (Sorry to any of my friends who I bragged to!  Now you can see it too if you want.)  The review is my own and I received no other compensation for writing this post. 


Sara Thomas said...

Jen, I totally agree with you about Katniss and Peeta. Maybe something about the nature of that relationship is just better captured on the page than on the screen? But hopefully it will translate a little better in Catching Fire. Fun that you guys got to go to the advance screening!

Michelle said...

Good to know that you liked it. It's one we will probably see.

Ginny Marie said...

I have been dying to see this movie ever since it came out, and I STILL haven't seen it! I guess I'll have to wait until it comes out on DVD.