(ag) wrote: 10/1/16Welcome, welcome, to the first of four movies based on three novels: The Hunger Games. We open with an excerpt from the Treaty of Treason, which essentially says "you misbehaved, now you and your descendants will suffer at the hands of us and our descendants." We then go to the start of an upbeat TV program in the Capitol where Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) is interviewing head gamemaker Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley) about that year's Hunger Games. Cut to District 12, and we meet Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) comforting her younger sister Primrose (Willow Shields) after a nightmare of being reaped wakes her up (spoiler alert for her: it comes true, in a way). After calming her down and getting her to go back to sleep, Katniss goes out hunting in the woods, where she meets up with her hunting partner Gale (Liam Hemsworth) to exchange reaping day gifts, followed by the reaping itself. Prim's nightmare comes true when Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) pulls her name out, but unlike how I can assume the nightmare went, Katniss volunteers as tribute. After Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is reaped, Katniss says good-bye, and they begin their journey to the Capitol; with the help of drunken mentor Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and modest Capitol stylist Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), Katniss boldly goes where a girl in her age group is sent every year: The Hunger Games, which take a whole 66 minutes to start, making for what may be the longest lead-up to a titular event yet. Katniss is well-developed as a character from the loving sister of Prim to the hunting partner/friend of Gale, and the sweet-for-the-camera-before-the-games-and-determined-in-the-games tribute. Katniss may be the main focus, but all the other characters I mention have pertinent moments, even those she briefly interacts with like President Snow (Donald Sutherland) have interesting moments here and there, with or without her. While the characters are great, another problem right up there with the pacing is the shakiness of the camera. Gary Ross-vision: because it's too hard to hold a camera steady during simple dialogue scenes that don't call for it. Otherwise, the CGI is forgivably noticeably in brief doses, James Newton Howard's soundtrack (when used) conveys both the grandeur of the Capitol, the hardship of life in District 12, the emotion between some characters, and the everything else a soundtrack does. The Hunger Games may be a grim event, but there's enough comic relief to remind you "these characters are human" and keep you from thinking way too hard about the social messages in here. Interpret them how you like, so all I can say now is this: may the odds be ever in your viewing favor!11/16/13From the book series by Suzzane Collins that started with The Hunger Games, comes a film adaptation for people who prefer someone tells the story to them instead of reading it themselves. The characters Suzanne Collins come to life played by young heart throbs, children, and adults. Jennifer Lawrence does a wonderful job as Katniss Everdeene, from the very start, she is the girl on fire (and from the seam). The plot brings her, fellow tribute Peeta Mellarch, and 22 other young men and women into a deadly fight to the death tournament in its 74th year to remind the districts of their weaknesses. It is very much the book brought to film, except for a few waivable details, and some pretty important parts from the book. Hey, I try not to discredit based on source material, but excuse me if I actually listened to the audiobook before seeing this movie, before even knowing it would be a movie, and formulating my own ideas while listining for the first time. The visual quality is great, but I must point this out: Overly shaky camera. True, they use it to censor the child-on-child violence, but come on, do you really need to jerk the camera on a close-up? Really? I will say this though: James Newton Howard provides an excellent soundtrack (when there is one, considering the art-house feel I'd guess this movie has). The dialogue at times, actually comes directly from the book at times, while some was placed in there for good reasons. Overall, The Hunger Games provides a well-written, well thought out, dramatic experience that will leave you begging for more.3/24/12As a fan of The Hunger Games, I think that this is not anything like the book in some parts. They did not show many flashbacks, or give much of the backround story like the book did. I personally would want to have seen full scenes for the bread, as well as what happened shortly after the death of Katness' father, and how she came to hunt. I also think that the picture was brilliant. The CGI effects, from the room where game makers made the games happen, to the mutts, though I was pissed that they did not show their eyes, since the eyes were supposed to look like the dead tributes. Overall, this was an excellent movie, and a decent adaptation, though some things could be improved.