Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Hunger Games Movie: My Thoughts

Just in case you were wondering what I thought of the movie LOL I spent an entire week going back and forth on this. People have been constantly asking me what I thought, and my response is "I don't know." I do need to see it again, but I probably won't get to, until the DVD comes out. Obviously, spoilers abound. And I apologize for the length of this post.

What I liked:

  • Cinna (LOVED)
  • Thresh
  • Rue 
  • Caesar (but I knew that ahead of time. Stanley Tucci can do no wrong.). I especially appreciated that the filmmakers expanded his role so that we, the viewers of the Game, would understand what was going on.
  • Seneca Crane: Delish. That is all.
  • some of the effects: I liked that when Katniss lost her hearing, we did, too--although it was far more severe in the book.
  • some of Effie: I'll admit, I was not a fan of Elizabeth Banks being cast in this role. She did a good job, though--and the faults I had with Effie were not because of her acting (see below).
  • some of Haymitch (the train scene, especially). 
  • Katniss. After watching Winter's Bone last year, I had no doubt that Jennifer Lawrence could pull this off. What I didn't realize is that she is destined for so much more than this.
  • the violence (sort of): I liked how Gary Ross handled the violence and the killings. BUT there wasn't enough.
  • Donald Sutherland: I've read other reviews where he's been bashed, that he looks like Santa Claus pruning roses, not nearly as evil enough to be President Snow. I respectfully disagree. If memory serves, he's not a huge character in the first book, so we don't really know that he's evil yet. Katniss has a gut reaction to him, but it's not truly justified (except for the whole "let's send kids to their deaths every year" thing) until later on in the story. So, I think he did a great job setting up his character for further development. Especially with Seneca.
  • Gale: because we only had to deal with his mug for, like, ten minutes. (Not a fan of Liam, but would TOTALLY be on board for Thor to play Finnick!)

What I didn't like:

  • The build-up to the Game: I loved seeing District 12, and I totally get that there had to be some backstory, but by the time they were in the tubes at the Game, I was exhausted and actually bored.
  • Peeta AND Josh Hutcherson: Hear me out. I spent the entire movie HATING Peeta. That stupid look on his face. His stupid everything. Leaving the theater, it FINALLY hit me: I don't like Peeta. And, I don't like Josh Hutcherson. Which leads me to admit that I think that dolt boy is perfect for his role as Peeta.
  • the freaking mocking jay pin. Epic fail, Gary Ross. Epic fail. It didn't have to be Madge, but it should have been more than a freaking thrift store find at the Hob.
  • Effie: she just wasn't ditzy enough. 
  • some of Haymitch: I don't have anything against Woody Harrelson as an actor (although it's really hard for me to not see Woody the bartender from Cheers in anything he does). I know that there are people who don't like his acting, or his personality, or what have you. I'm not one of those people. I suspected that he would do Haymitch justice, and he did, but I think he could have done more. Where was the falling off the stage at the Reaping? He should have been drunker.
  • the Mutts. I get it, there definitely wasn't enough time to explain the eyes and stuff. But my first thought upon seeing them was that someone borrowed the wolves from Twilight and tossed them in the arena. Of course the bulldogs don't actually look like wolves, but to me it looked like they were created using the same computer program. And where was Caesar during this part? He could have explained what they were--not even have to getting into how they're the Tributes, he could have said they were genetically mutated, like he did with the Tracker Jackers. And why weren't they walking on two legs?
  • Lack of injuries (and overall general health): Katniss and Peeta (and yes, I realize what their names are, put together, and yes, I really want to use that, but yes, I realize that I might have some younger readers so I'll refrain) were definitely NOT injured enough at the end of the Game. Didn't he almost lose his leg in the book? And I felt that the starvation and dying of thirst wasn't touched on at all. How long were they in the Arena--two days? Three? A week? Twenty minutes?
  • Cannon: the cannon was not consistent at all.
  • Lack of couch in the final Caesar scene: to me, it was little things like this that seemed like really stupid mistakes. In the book, much is made of the fact that they have to have enough seating for two winners during the interview, so they get a couch, and Katniss takes that opportunity to play up her "feelings" for Peeta. In the movie, they're sitting on two chairs. To me, this would have been an easy and not too expensive way to demonstrate the danger KatPee was in. (That's not what I want to call them.)
  • The suicide scene: in the book, KatPee are taking the nightlock because they really can't see any other option--one of them going back to District 12 just won't cut it. In the movie, it's clearly a "let's pull one over on the Capitol" move, and did nothing to demonstrate that Katniss has really developed feelings for Peeta.
  • Where was the bread???? Bread plays such an important role in the book--not just with District 11's gift after Rue dies, but throughout the whole book. Katniss is amazed at how different Capitol bread tastes, the scene with Peeta throwing her the bread (something else I didn't like--if you didn't read the book, that scene was just nonsensical), etc. Little things that could have been added.
  • The knowledge that Gale will be more prominent in the next movie.
Are you still with me? LOL Overall, I enjoyed the film, but I certainly can't say that it was the most faithful movie adaptation of a book ever--that honor has to go to Hugo. It was just really hard for me to separate book from movie.

What did you think?
Enjoy your reading!


  1. "KatPee... (That's not what I want to call them.)"

    I LOL'd.

    Another thing that was absolutely awful... that stupid freaking shaky camera! It made me so dizzy.

    Also, in the books Peeta really did lose his leg in the end.

    Overall, while the movie could have been much better, I didn't think it sucked as bad as the Twilight and Harry Potter movies.

  2. Great review, you pointed out plenty of things I had not realized. I completely agree that there could have been more violence however I understand that they "needed" to keep it PG13. Plus I LOVED Peeta, but I'm a Peeta girl. ;) Happy Hunger Games!

  3. I AGREE!!
    The Mockinjay pin is what tipped me off to there would be some flaws, and then everything else was either hit or miss.
    Don't get me wrong, I loveloveloved the book, and really liked the movie, but there were some things that weren't right, like the pin, the mutts, Haymitch (he needed to be much more drunk), time in the arena (it needed to be longer), and the injuries (more severe).

  4. I haven't read the books *hides* so I think the movie will be better for me. My 11you has read the books & totally refuses to come to the movie with me. Stating it won't be as good as the book *WIN*


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