Movies with Maricor - The Hunger Game

Directed by Gary Ross Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci I just want to forewarn that there may be some spoi...

Directed by Gary Ross

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci

I just want to forewarn that there may be some spoilers ahead in this article. So if you do not want to hear anything in regards to the book or the new film please do not read this review.

Anticipation was high for this movie, it had surpassed Twilight in ticket sales for the opening week. It also set a record high for tickets sold days before the nation wide release of the film. Six months prior, the teaser trailer was released increasing the hype. A crescendo of excitement only amped up the hype to the big event, will this be the film to catch the baton -of being the 'it' tweenie film sensation- from Twilight? I think yes. Is it a better movie than twilight? I do declare it to be a...No.

The movie is based on the young adult novel of the same name. It is a story of a dystopian future in which children are chosen randomly to be entered in the Hunger Games. There they will have to kill one another to survive, the last remaining contestant will be the victor.

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is the main protagonist trying to keep strong in the wake of having to replace her younger sister in the game. Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) is her male partner/competitor from district 12. Much like a reality show, the two are thrust into the spotlight of being watched by every citizen in the country. It is up to their abilities and their wits to survive in what seems to be a very violent game. Seeming like a revert back to ancient Rome, the games are part of a tradition that dates back to the core historical formation of Panam.

I appreciated the scenes in the beginning, where they showed how desperate and dilapidated District 12 was, it was how I truly envisioned Katniss’ home city would look. I wished they have lingered longer in the world she grew up in, it would have explained her character much better. It would have explained more of her skills and her survival instincts. Jennifer Lawrence plays a convincing heroine, enough so that the audience can believe the character to be a tough girl. Although in some scenes she is overtly dry of emotion, I do not lay blame on the young actress. I deal the blame towards the writers that created the two dimensional film version of Katniss, a version lacking the cunning and strength of her book counterpart. Elizabeth Banks on the other hand was unrecognizable as Effie Trinket. Bedecked in thick make up and outlandish dressing, Elizabeth Banks did a great performance. Effie was brilliantly played as a passive aggressive mentor to both district 12 nominees.

I ultimately regret paying $10.50 for this movie. I admit that I was swept into the Hunger mania, but I truly believe this movie is worth only to be borrowed at the nearest RedBox. Then again I was wrong to think that a PG-13 movie, based on a young adult novel could cater to adults as well. It is a tough sell, the book was more detailed, emotions were carefully presented in the words chosen by the author.

I like the fact that the book had its way of reeling the readers in by way of empathy. Where as in the movie, they lacked sensitivity to the whole danger and perils of being hunted down and killed. I cannot understand why young adults can read about violence but it can only be alluded to on the film adaptation of books. Are we underestimating the power of imagination? Children can imagine the image of head impalement, or arrows shooting onto chests. Tweens can definitely imagine, maybe worse than what the book truly means. We also underestimate the young adults' ability to decipher that senseless violence is a thing of uncivilized mentality. If anything, they can see a social statement being made by the author, that the rich will control everything, and the poor will toil to give it to them.

First and foremost, the allotted time presented for this film was a fair two and a half hours. In many such cases, two hours would suffice to give viewers a chance to understand the world they are dropped in. A mere peeping Tom effect where we peer into the lives of characters who have no knowledge of being watched. In that sense we watch seamlessly figuring everything out in the most natural of habitats. The short foreword in the beginning did not help, the choppy flow of the story did not help, and the sappy choice of lines the actors had to memorize were of no help either. If I had not read the book, I would have been confused in the flashback scenes. Why in the world was Peeta throwing bread at Katniss in the pouring rain? Why was that important? Readers would know, but the non readers would be scratching their heads.The flashbacks and dream sequences were a bit jarring and annoying.

I myself could not fathom a world where the young are used for entertainment in the name of portion control for the population. The characters are flatly two dimensional to even mull over the idea of being pommeled by a hammer, sliced in two by a sword, or burned alive by a flame thrower. A scene in which kind of sets the tone for the violence ahead is when they are being prepped in the training room. One of the trainers says to not worry about each other, that most likely they will die of pneumonia or infection than of each other. Wow, if I just knew she was right I would have left the movie. Yes, I came into the movie theater thinking it was going to be gory like Kill Bill or Battle Royale. It was not, and I was deluded.

Another way of not actually showing violence in a violent themed movie is to employ the worst cinematographer. The tributes are raised into the arena, the whistle blows to signal the start of the games. All of a sudden the camera angles becomes messy, and shaky. From smooth camera angles that often zoom onto Jennifer Lawrence's plump lips, to a shaky hand held camera? Are you serious? Really? I felt like throwing up in the ten minutes they used this technique. I was too concerned at having a seizure fit trying to watch the null in blood bath. For a budget of $78 million there were barely any special effects or explosions. Maybe a flame thrower but that's it. So we can only conclude most of the money went to promotion and actor salaries. What a waste of millions.

Some would say that instead of no holds barred violence, the movie moved towards a more dramatic emphasis on story. This movie failed miserably in that sense. I say make it rated R and give the adults a break from the tween movies, please!

I give this movie 2.5 out of 5 hearts. The movie was very disheartening to say the least.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for the review. I am not going to waste any $$$ on it now.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the review. I am not going to waste any $$$ on it now.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the review. I am not going to waste any $$$ on it now.

Anonymous said...

Nice review. Keep up the good work.

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