The Hunger Games (2012)

Directed By: Gary Ross

Written By: Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray

Starring: Stanley Tucci, Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson and Donald Sutherland

Synopsis:

If you’re a great actor and can fake love, you’ll be showered with gifts and venerated as a hero (like real life).

Musings:

With an 85% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Hunger Games is bound to be great, right? The masses have spoken. The critics have given it accolades. Two giant thumbs have been hoisted in the air. So, what did I miss? I know I just became a critic yesterday and a self-anointed one at that, but this movie was two giant turds some jerk left in the toilet bowl.

The erratic editing and hand held camerawork nearly gave me a seizure. There’s a time and place for that (action sequences). I’m also unclear why Gary Ross made Suzanne Collins dystopia looks like a mix of Zoolander’s Mugatu, a Katy Perry video and Wesley Snipes in Demolition Man. Surely they could have come up with a unique vision. It felt like all of their mental energy was wasted on designing Seneca Crane’s beard. To top off this steaming pile, the dialogue and acting for all of the teen melodrama was laughable (I chuckled). Is Twilight like this?

Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson and Donald Sutherland were fantastic as they usually are. Jennifer Lawrence is cashing in on her success from Winter’s Bone. I don’t blame her at all and I know that after this cash cow trilogy, she’ll come back with a good performance. As far as the rest of the cast, I don’t understand why their criteria were only based only attractiveness rather than talent. Hollywood must be brimming with at least some attractive talent. And why Lenny? Is he relevant to the youngsters out there?

I’m not saying don’t see it, I don’t want to impose my will until I get more street cred. I just want to know what makes it so successful, other than the marketing, the attractive actors and Lenny Kravitz, of course.

Problems: My problems got problems

Mood for watching: Vacuous abandon

What to eat and drink: Salami sandwich and laudanum

If I made it: I’d enjoy the cash money

Why watch: An attempt at understanding zeitgeist

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10 thoughts on “The Hunger Games (2012)

  1. Well I agree with a few things like the annoying shaking camera. Although, I did like the quick and interesting shots. I did not find them nausea inducing and found that they kept me intrigued during the slower parts of the movie. The acting wasn’t great, but was fairly exceptional given the target audience and type of movie as well as the age and experience of the actors. To each his own, I guess.

    My review: http://davidmichaelangelosilva.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/the-hunger-games-movie-review/

    • I completely agree with you. The acting was pretty good given the target audience and I’m definetly not that target. I’m just trying to make my judgments based on the complete package. I don’t usually watch movies targeted to teens but I’m guessing that Hunger Games was better than most? Better than Twilight? Thanks for reading.

  2. Enjoyed your take on the movie… you’re absolutely right. I think audiences were expecting a lot more. I can’t say if it was better that Twilight… I couldn’t even get myself to read the series let alone watch the movies.

  3. Obviously, you and I have very different tastes. But I see a lot of points that you have made about dialogue, and I thought the camera work was atrocious. But overall, I thought the film was visually attractive, and the story’s integrity was preserved and some good questions asked. But again, different opinions and I respect that.

    Everyone who hasn’t seen my review, check out and follow!
    http://cinephilesunite.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/review-the-hunger-games/

  4. I can easily see why people don’t like this movie. It’s not an easy one to defend because you either like it or you don’t. As a huge fan of the book, I left my judgement at the door because I so rarely get excited about movies. The Jennifer Lawrence casting was a weird choice and the most compelling scene of the whole movie happens in the first few minutes, but there’s tension throughout and that’s not easy to achieve. Much of the hype came from the view that this movie had mass appeal to all four quadrants so perhaps it wasn’t as successful with most adults. The lingering looks from mute Gale and lovesick Peeta were a bit much, but the love stories drove the stakes in book 1. Catching Fire should be grittier and focus more on the political/social elements, plus they switched directors.

    • Thanks for the comments and the read. I am pretty harsh with movies but The Hunger Games continues to be really successful so they must be doing something right. I just haven’t figured that out yet. You knew exactly what I was talking about, the looks. Ridiculous.

  5. I’d be interested to know, did you read the book? I’ve noticed differences in reactions to the movie between those who have and haven’t.

    • I did read the first two books and stopped because I didn’t feel I would get anything out of the third. I was originally intrigued by the concept but it didn’t say anything different that other stories about dystopian societies. Check out my review of Battle Royale which mentions this. So… maybe I came into my movie watching experience ready to be a harsh critic.

      Thanks for reading, always appreciated.

  6. Wow, I completely disagree, perhaps because my main criteria for movie quality was how wonderfully closely it stuck to the book. However, I did also feel like the visuals were very creative, from the people of the capitol to the way the games were run. I also thought the acting was well done. As other have mentioned, Katniss looked (appropriately) terrified in the elevator; in his few appearances, Cinna was a very calming presence; and Seneca Crane was both gregarious and good at making the children more comfortable. All of which was very true to their characters in the book 🙂 Although I have a totally different viewpoint on this one, I like your review style and will enjoy reading more in the future! Thanks for stopping by my blog. For anyone interested in another review, mine is here: http://doingdeweydecimal.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/a-hunger-games-movie-review/

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