Movie Review: The Hunger Games luandry list, airing it out to dry…

Call it unbelievably high expectations where in fact the movie could never stand a chance. That could definitely be the reasoning behind the somewhat bummed and disappointed feeling I had when the theater lights rained down and the credits scrolled up. Maybe it just goes back to the old saying of, “the book is always better.” …Maybe. But I feel that some concrete-ness should be applied when speaking of the successful book turned movie franchise, The Hunger Games.

Jennifer Lawrence

Photo Courtesy of: crushermerchant

THE NEGATIVES:

  • The scenes, at times, felt choppy and didn’t transition well. Often times, felt segmented.
  • The Cornucopia I pictured, when reading the book, to be a grand structure that just didn’t seem to translate well on-screen. Though I immediately forgave this as how could such a structure satisfy millions of imaginations who had already built it perfectly.
  • The history of the mockingjay, and mention of the jabber-jays, didn’t make the final cut.
  • The inability to be inside Katniss’s head. A fellow critic put it well when he said,

Edward Douglas, ComingSoon.net

“…you’ll certainly get more out of the movie if you’ve read the book and can fill in the blanks.”

  • While the dogs were almost pit-bull in appearance, in the book were described to be wolf-like. I see no rational reason for changing this detail in the movie. And didn’t they possess human-like eyes. This was left entirely out.
  • The dandelion scene, signifying hope, was never realized.
  • The added scenes in the rose garden with Snow seemed to be minutes taken away from the film that could have been used to help better develop the scenes that actually did happened, though felt rushed.
  • Many of the key relationships seemed underdeveloped.

THE POSITIVES:

  • Jennifer Lawrence is phenomenal. Her embodiment of Katniss is like a hand finding it’s perfectly matched glove. Without her portrayal, this movie would be unsurvivable.
  • The cheering, unfeeling/lack of empathy Capitol was represented well. The ignorant collective being cheering as if the annual Hunger Games was a football game or caged fighting match.

But let’s remember that I am a big fan of this series. And although I feel the movie underperformed to the level I had anticipated, I will definitely stay tuned for the next installment.

GRADE: ^ (refer to rating system on left column)

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Hunger Games luandry list, airing it out to dry…

  1. Now that I’ve read your review, I can see why you were disappointed! 🙂 However, I was so caught in the moment while watching the movie that I didn’t really pay attention to the missing details. I was a bit disappointed at the dogs too for the same reason.

    The book is indeed better (the “getting into Katniss’ head” could have been done with voice-over), but I love the movie adaptation. However, I am not going to see it again due to the shaky-cam, which I certainly hope they will get rid of in the second installment, as there seems to be a lot of negative feedback to it.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for reading my post and sharing your thoughts. Appreciate it. :). And like you, I do hope they do away with the shaky cam business next go around. The cinematography is a key element to getting the feel for the film just right. Let’s hope they can pull ‘er off. 🙂

  3. Mags says:

    I think the shakey camera thing was weird at times, but some would have been appropriate in certain circumstances. I did like the movie. It has also been more than a year since I read the series though. I look at the movie a lot like the Harry Potter series; lots of things had to be left out, but the essential core of the story is in tact. I think Suzanne Collins being part of the screenplay writing team had a lot to do with that too. She wouldn’t let something be cut out if she felt it important to the overall story. As for the dogs, yeah I can see your point. I am not going to the theater again to see it, but I swear I did see one dog look up from attacking that last boy and it had green eyes.

  4. Mags- Thanks for the comment. 🙂 I definitely see what you’re saying about Suzanne being on the screen-writing team and approving what to keep in or leave out. And I did know that going into seeing it, and also knew that she liked the final product before the Hollywood premiere. Though although I knew that information, I couldn’t helped be a little underwhelmed. There is, however, things I did like about it as well. I came out not loving nor hating it. It was more of a, “meh” type feeling I guess you could say. Though who knows. The second viewing of it may prove to alter some of my already existing perceptions. (I truly have had movies in the past work this way as well).

  5. tinalinatime says:

    You make some good points. I don’t think the movie explained why Katniss was so prickly towards Peeta at first for example. But I still loved it! Also I agree that the Capitol was portrayed perfectly!! 🙂

  6. brianpappalardo says:

    This is a great review, and it reflects a lot of my thoughts. One thing that I really enjoyed about the book was the ever-constant struggle for food and water, which was absent for the most part from the movie.
    I also get the difficulty in translating that onto the big screen, but it would have been cool to have seen that play a bigger role in the movie. Overall, I think they did a great job with it and stayed very true to the book.

    • I totally agree that they should/could have focused more on the struggle for food and water. Katniss’s dehydration scene was obsolete, and I feel that that scene would’ve added to the reality of the situation (struggle for survival). I also feel that the omission of the Avox scene was a bit disheartening. Though alas, as you mentioned, it is an impossible feat to completely transfer a book to the big screen without having to leave out some stuff. …And I really appreciate your thoughts, brianpappalardo, and thanks for reading my post/blog and commenting.

  7. jannath says:

    We saw it this weekend and you took the words right out of my mouth. Well said!

  8. ziwaka says:

    Talking with my mom tonight about the movie, I told her I’m curious as to how the next movie will compare, and if it’ll add anything to this movie in “hindsight”. Think some of the “problems” you (and I) have with it may come into more “focus” so to speak (forgive me if this makes no sense, not sure how to word it) after the next movie(s) appear, or at least I’m hoping?

  9. You know, the same thing kind of dawned on me too. Meaning, maybe the other movies will help fill in the gaps, or rather resolve the problems, that existed in the first one… (or so we hope). I totally agree with you there. …And the rough part of it all, is we have to wait til November 2013 to find out… blah…

  10. I too had some of the same issues that you had with the movie. But I still really enjoyed watching it. I think Katniss is such an awesome character, and I love Jennifer Lawrence. For me, that was my biggest fear, that the main character would be portrayed wrongly, and as my biggest fear was not realized, I enjoyed the movie.

  11. @Jami – I can see that… …So do you have any thoughts or concerns that the Director Gary Ross will not be returing to direct “Catching Fire?”…

  12. I guess it depends on who is going to be the new director and how much Suzanne Collins stays in the loop. I have a feeling she kept the script close to the original book, and that is what kept the stories the same. But that is just a guess on my part. I wasn’t totally in love with all the shots in the Hunger Games, so I would be willing to give a new director a chance.

  13. nevertooearlymp says:

    Nice review. I suspect that they are saving a more detailed description of the Mocking Jay for later in the series, since they assume that movie watchers have such short attention spans.

    I didn’t read the books, but I really did get the sense that the crowds were at a football game or caged fighting match… Which made me question what it is that we think is happening at those real world events, and if it might be more similar to what we see in the film that we realize!

  14. @nevertooearlymp- I agree with both your points completely. They may perhaps be saving the description of the mockingjay pin til later on in the series, in the 2nd and 3rd installments. Also, yes, your other point about our culture being not that far off from that of Panem, I would totally agree with.

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment on my blog. I appreciate it, and hope you’ll visit again.

I would love to hear your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s