PDA

View Full Version : The Hunger Games


SFFWorld.com
Home - Discussion Forums - News - Reviews - Interviews

New reviews, interviews and news

New in the Discussion Forum


Pages : [1] 2 3

Roland 85
March 26th, 2012, 02:44 AM
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_0NKTLiIYXA/T3AVmXUFjlI/AAAAAAAAA50/RgmYFOp4BAk/s1600/official-hunger-games-motion-poster.jpg



Here is the from my blog:


Seeing as how I just wrote a review for the novel, I will skip the small talk as well as the plot synopsis (the movie adaptation has the decency to follow the book pretty closely), and go straight to the question of whether The Hunger Games has made a good transition from the pages to the big screen.

I would say that considering the source material, it definitely has. The movie is a well-paced and compelling affair, following the book yet straying when the narrative flow demands it. I disagree with very few changes (the lack of the Avox storyline, the diminished presence of Rue and Haymitch and the missing origin of the wolflike creatures), and as a whole I think that director-screenwriter Gary Ross, with the help of the book's writer Suzanne Collins, has created the best possible script to both honor and not be constrained by the original.

That said, The Hunger Games falls short in weird ways, becoming a strange mirror of the novel's shortcomings (check out my review). What dystopian traits the books tells about, the visual adaptation is trying to show. Shaky cam is used freely in the District 12 scenes and the action sequences to depict the almost documentary day-to-day misery of the people outside the Capitol, and the immediacy of the fight for survival. The contrast with the oppressing opulence of the Capitol, where everything is monumental and the people are colorful, pale and strangely lifeless in their joy, is striking. At the same time the director and the operator exhibit real talent in not a few occasions, with wonderful camera angles and artful scene dynamic, with the bread flashback as my particular favorite. Special effects are used to enhance rather than steal the scene, and are again combined with a distinct visual style that you can recognize among the pile of "same old" that modern Hollywood presents to us in recent years.

At the same time however, none of these elements really lasts long enough for it to stamp itself in your memory. It's all kinda there, but not really. The visuals of the Capitol are kinda marvelous and threatening, but not really. The action is kinda stressful and frantic, but not really. Even acting is kinda pretty good - especially in the cases of Haymitch (Woodie Harrelson) and Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) - but not really, and this last one is a huge shame, because both the characters and their corresponding actors could do so much more if the script would just utilize them.

Katniss herself is shockingly more likeable than the book version. Not that Jennifer Lawrence is that special - in fact I felt that she had slightly more curves than a child coming from a starving community should, and she was constantly giving me a vaguely unpleasant vibe - but since we are out of her head, there is no need to be witness to her embarrassing singlemindedness and her inability to see what's right in front of her face when it comes to Peeta.

With all this criticism, it might not be entirely clear that I actually enjoyed the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games the same way as I enjoyed the original. In fact, in some ways, it is even a little bit better. It has a flawed grace and as far as adaptations of hit YA novels go it's top notch. In fact, it's easily among the best ones of recent years. The movie has its own distinct visual style, and there is not a single dull moment in it. Most of its failings come from the source material and are unavoidable, and the ones it has invented on its own do not really detract from the enjoyment. It's a sad fact that - just like the book - it could simply have been much better. The potential is there, and even if the end result is good, it bugs me when I could tell it could have been amazing. Oh well, they still have two more movies to get it right. In the mean time, this one is definitely worth watching.

7/10

saintjon
March 26th, 2012, 05:38 AM
I didn't like that they basically took the temperature, thirst and Katniss' relationship with her father completely out of the story. They pared down the stuff on the train to almost nothing, so then when they get to the Capitol Katniss' reactions to the stylists seems almost out of character. I agree some of the scenes were visualized pretty well but just as many I thought were done in a silly Hollywood sort of way.

Anyways, I give it more like 6/10.

Luya Sevrein
March 26th, 2012, 11:23 AM
I have yet to see the movie.

I've never really gotten over the fact that the book is Battle Royale. I mean - I actually prefer it to the over-cliched Japanese tournoment, and there's a lot more outside information.

But when the MAIN plot revolves around the same plot device so... blatently, it's always kinda' struck me as 'Author read/watched BR; wanted to rewrite it better; cashed in.'

Loerwyn
March 27th, 2012, 03:31 AM
But when the MAIN plot revolves around the same plot device so... blatently, it's always kinda' struck me as 'Author read/watched BR; wanted to rewrite it better; cashed in.'
Book 2: Author read/watched BR; wanted to rewrite it a second time.

I'm a little annoyed they changed Katniss' race. Sort of.

Hereford Eye
March 27th, 2012, 06:04 PM
Saw The Hunger Games. It's a keeper.

Yes, there were deviations from the book but they were justified by the needs of the movie. Little things such as who presented Katniss with the mockingjay pin eliminated the need for more explanation and made the script that much more taut. The reviewer who complained that the scene of Katniss and Peeta at the end of the book missed the fact the scene was competently suggested by the final dialogue between the two. The scenes of Wes Bentley as Seneca Crane and his crew orchestrating the flow of the games gave a much more clear depiction of the game show trope that the book satirized than the book did. The movie was a complete whole and you cannot ask for more.

The cast was superb. I had reservations about the casting of Peeta but Josh Hutcherson was excellent. Stanley Tucci as Ceasar Flickerman was superb. He performed the role to pitch perfect and his bits of commentary during the game were so accurate I almost fell off my chair LMAO. Elizabeth Banks made Effie seem real and that was not an easy feat. Even Woody Harrelson turned out be better than I had anticipated.

Jennifer Lawrence is as good an actress as we've seen. So much of the movie concentrated on her in close-up requiring expressions to fill in for missing thought streams and she played it to perfection.

The violence required by the book came across as horrifying without the need for concentrating on the gore. That was appropriate ass the gore wasn't the point, the games were the point.

The sole objection I have is to the use of the hand-held camera, particularly at the movie's outset. I feared the whole movie was shot with that technique but my fears were misplaced. The opening was just too jumpy for my tastes.

My compliments to Gary Ross and crew. That was great entertainment.

Siberian
March 28th, 2012, 09:49 PM
I have yet to see the movie.

I've never really gotten over the fact that the book is Battle Royale. I mean - I actually prefer it to the over-cliched Japanese tournoment, and there's a lot more outside information.

But when the MAIN plot revolves around the same plot device so... blatently, it's always kinda' struck me as 'Author read/watched BR; wanted to rewrite it better; cashed in.'

Well, children/teens in a some kind of a survival situation (that might include fighting with each other, even to the death) is not uncommon in the sff literature. From the top of the head, Golding's Lord of the Flies, Heinlein's Tunnel in the Sky, Panshin's Rite of Passage, Card's Ender's Game all deal with this situation from different perspectives. (there was also a book by the Russian author Sergey Lukyanenko where kids were kidnapped and forced to fight each other by evil aliens, but I don't expect non Russian speakers to know about it). Heck, even Oliver Twist or Hector Malot's Sans Famille can fall into this category.

Besides, Battle Royale was not exactly a mainstream blockbuster in the USA, so if Collins claims she's never seen it, she might be actually telling the truth.

ubergeek
March 30th, 2012, 12:15 PM
Thought the film was much better than the book. A well realised vision of a future that might not be far away. Youth fighting to stay alive. Youth fighting for jobs in our current society. Everything so competitive and very little consideration or those less able.

I think it should also make people who engage 'reality tv' have a look at themselves?

Gumboot
April 5th, 2012, 06:45 AM
I have yet to see the movie.

I've never really gotten over the fact that the book is Battle Royale. I mean - I actually prefer it to the over-cliched Japanese tournoment, and there's a lot more outside information.

But when the MAIN plot revolves around the same plot device so... blatently, it's always kinda' struck me as 'Author read/watched BR; wanted to rewrite it better; cashed in.'



The similarities between "Battle Royale" and "The Hunger Games" are really quite superficial, and I honestly don't see everyone's assertion the the latter stole from the former.

"The Hunger Games" is clearly and obviously a retelling of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur; a fact the author herself has openly acknowledged.

Even on a really basic level, the premise to the two stories is significantly different; in fact the only real similarities is "children on an island fight to the death" in which case both of them ripped off "Lord of the Flies".

remanjot
April 18th, 2012, 03:38 AM
Thanks for this all, the movie was good to watch and it got good revies and viewers rating.

psikeyhackr
April 18th, 2012, 10:25 AM
Saw the movie. It's better than the Harry Potter junk but I wouldn't take the time to read the book. Barely science fiction. I suppose it is a satire of reality television but an otherwise shallow story.

Rite of Passage by Alexei Panshin is far better.

psik