The Hunger Games

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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  inversed on Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:39 am

I really, really enjoyed it. I read the books awhile ago, and chose not to reread just before the movie so I'd be able to give the movie more of a fair shake. I was tense throughout, even though I knew what would happen.

I thought Jennifer Lawrence was great, and was surprisingly won over by Peeta. I hope Josh Hutcherson can pull off what happens to Peeta in the later books. Really, I thought the casting overall was right on.

When we were walking out, this kid was like, "There were eight things wrong with that movie." Future Comic Book Guy in the making!

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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  queenofdenile on Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:52 am

Hee, that actually sounds more like Nelson after seeing Naked Lunch: "I can think of at least two things wrong with that title."

I forgot to mention how much I liked Elizabeth Banks and Stanley Tucci, and have to echo what PrincessCleo said earlier, about them disappearing so far into their characters that I stopped thinking about the actors playing them.
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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  Gilraen on Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:13 am

I loved it. I actually did see Katniss's hardness in JL's performance - the scenes with her mother, in particular, I thought she nailed. But I also thought that was perhaps less prominent in the books because in the books we're seeing it from Katniss's perspective and she thinks of herself as hard and unemotional, and that influences us even when we know she's being an unreliable narrator. In the movie, we're watching from the third person a traumatized young woman who adapts to circumstances as she has to, so our perspective is different. I did wish they had left in Katniss pointing her bow at Peeta when the rule change was rescinded though - I thought that was an interesting character moment.

I thought the supporting cast was basically perfect. Haymitch, Effie, Cinna, Cesar, all of them.

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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  PrincessCleo on Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:31 pm

Seneca, Seneca's beard...

Spoiler:
I was talking to someone--Charishawk?--about how they needed to have the Seneca effigy in the second movie, and I was like, they'll totally know who it's supposed to be because Katniss can just draw his circus beard on it!
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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  ulkis on Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:33 pm

I forget -
Spoiler:
is the Reaping when the kids are chosen for the Games or in the beginning of the Games when they start at they rush for stuff at the Cornucopia?

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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  PrincessCleo on Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:34 pm

It's the former, at the beginning.

ETA: Hunger Games crushes the Twilight movies. All of them. I haven't gone and looked--are Twilight fans mad? I keep wondering if they're going to actively campaign to make sure BD2 has a big weekend.
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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  dionneshea on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:30 pm

I was underwhelmed. I'm not saying I didn't like it, because I did. It was pretty faithful overall to the book, I think it was cast fairly well, and the things that were added (things not in the book because they weren't part of Katniss's personal experience) all worked really well. But I was underwhelmed because it seemed to me that they took all of the emotionally high stakes moments and diluted them. For whatever reason the stakes seemed so much lower in the film. And so when it came to the big moments, they couldn't have the big payoffs because they hadn't earned them.

Spoiler:
The scene at the end of the game when they're about to take the berries is the perfect example of this. First of all, Peeta isn't seconds away from death like he should have been. Neither of them seem particularly wrung out, physically or emotionally, because they didn't just endure the worst night of their lives, fearing that Peeta was going to bleed out and having to listen to the mutts kill Cato over hours. And, there was no real argument about neither of them being able to win if the other has to die. When you lose all of this, then it's just sort of, 'Pretend you're going to eat the berries! Yay, we win!' And then they took out the part where they separate them and she goes crazy trying to get to him, so the final interview with Caesar loses all of its power. I thought that was very poorly done.

I'm hoping that they look at what didn't work here and improve upon in 'Catching Fire' without losing the faithfulness to the books, because that's a strength.
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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  PrincessCleo on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:34 pm

I admit, I was surprised by how watered-down that whole last sequence was. I kept wondering if it was just because
Spoiler:
Peeta losing a leg and Cato screaming for hours while the mutts ate him slowly was just too much for a PG-13. But they still could have argued a bit more about winning, and they could have given Peeta some kind of wound that would make him look really weak or near death or something, to get Katniss's freakout in.
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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  Gillian on Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:23 pm

I saw it last night, and I thought they did a fantastic job with this. Everything looked pretty much exactly the way I pictured it, and the cast was perfect. As he so often is, I totally think Stanley Tucci was the best thing about the movie. I really liked the way they used him as a commentator during the games to explain the stuff that Katniss' brain explained in the books. He got to play exposition fairy without actually seeming like one. It was surprisingly smooth.

I read the books awhile ago, and chose not to reread just before the
movie so I'd be able to give the movie more of a fair shake.
I did the same thing (it's been about a year since I read the books), and it was a really good call. The people I saw the movie with all finished the first book within the past month, and they were so picky about little changes. I didn't remember 90% of the stuff they were bitching about, so that totally worked in my favor.

The part that stirred me up the most was
Spoiler:
the rioting in District 11.
That was chilling. Was that in the book? I don't see how it could have been since the whole thing was strictly Katniss' point of view. If it was in the book, I don't remember it. If it wasn't, I thought it was a great, very effective addition.

The only thing I was disappointed in, like you guys have said, was the Katniss/Peeta stuff. I thought the stakes were too low in the cave, and I didn't think they spent enough time together to build up to the ending.
Spoiler:
Aside from never really believing that Peeta's life was truly in danger, I don't think what we saw of them together would convince anybody watching the games that Katniss was desperately in love with Peeta. She obviously liked him and wanted to keep him alive, but that was about it. It was a long movie, so I didn't need to see a whole 30-minute sequence of the two of them making out between moments of Peeta hovering near death, but something was missing there. At the end of the book, you feel totally bad for Peeta when he realizes Katniss was at least somewhat putting on a show, because you can see how he could believe that Katniss had fallen for him for real. In the movie, if Peeta had thought that Katniss really had feelings for him, I'd have been like, "Dude, you're a little delusional." And since they didn't include that scene, I guess the filmmakers knew that they didn't establish the relationship as strongly as the book did.
Maybe they're saving that stuff for the next movie.

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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  laddical on Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:26 pm

It wasn't in the book, Gillian. They sponsor Katniss instead.
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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  Gilraen on Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:03 pm

Gillian, I thought that scene you're referring to was in Catching Fire all along? But I might be misremembering.


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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  queenofdenile on Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:06 pm

dionneshea, I agree entirely about that scene you mentioned. It was a bit of a letdown after (IMO) they did such a good job with other emotionally harrowing moments. In that scene, the most gripping thing about it for me was Seneca Crane's reaction to everything, and while that's certainly interesting, it shouldn't be the MOST interesting thing about the scene.

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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  big chicken on Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:24 pm

Biggest non-sequel opening in history and third biggest overall with $155 million. Wow.

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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  laddical on Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:31 pm

Gilraen wrote:Gillian, I thought that scene you're referring to was in Catching Fire all along? But I might be misremembering.

Something similar is mentioned in Catching Fire, but it happens in the chronology of that book, well after the point it's shown at in the movie.

All I can think is that Ross, Collins et al. are already thinking ahead to structural changes they'll have to make in the second and third films (please, God, don't let them do four) and decided that changing the timing of the event in question will facilitate making the story flow better later on.
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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  snorf on Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:44 pm

I saw it Saturday night with the husband who remarked before we walked in "There sure seems to be a lot of kids around" When I pointed out that it was essentially a kids book he looked at me horrified and said "But it's about kids killing each other!" So although he was reluctant to go in, he thought it was well done and enjoyed it.

I'd read the books about a year ago when we were travelling so knew the gist but couldn't quite remember the sequences. I did think that the love story (tension ?) between Katniss and Peeta could have maybe been a bit more prominent, but because that sort of stuff generally annoys me I was cool with the way it was done.

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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  FiggyPudding on Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:48 pm

I loved it (haven't read the books yet). It lived up to the the hype for me. The casting was perfect, and I love how fun and down to earth the actors seem on their press tour.

Even thought the violence was toned down, several adults around me were visibly & audibly disturbed by the killing scenes. I love how guys seem equally into it; several in front of me in the queue were saying "this is going to be the best movie we see before The Avengers comes out, dude!" - so funny.

Jennifer Lawrence was terrific, and I like the role reversal with her and Josh Hutcherson's character. The actors for all the Capitol characters really sold it, they weren't over the top or too cartoonish at all. I will definitely see it again.


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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  particle_person on Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:40 pm

Just got home from seeing it. I thought it was outstanding. Pretty much everything they cut seemed non-essential to me, although I was a little sad that
Spoiler:
the story of the mockingjay pin had to be altered, because now they can't use that in Catching Fire and I thought the book version was better. Peeta was fine, and I thought they sold his gift of gab pretty well. Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss seemed spot-on. She really seemed as tough as the book version to me. Anything more would have seemed like over-acting. The bit at the end with Seneca and the berries actually made me gasp. I thought that actually one-upped the book.

PrincessCleo wrote:I admit, I was surprised by how watered-down that whole last sequence was. I kept wondering if it was just because
Spoiler:
Peeta losing a leg and Cato screaming for hours while the mutts ate him slowly was just too much for a PG-13. But they still could have argued a bit more about winning, and they could have given Peeta some kind of wound that would make him look really weak or near death or something, to get Katniss's freakout in.
If there was something I thought could be improved, that was definitely it. (And maybe a little more politics, but we do have the whole next movie for that.)

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"Good news, Katniss, I think we've almost got him convinced you're not a mutt!" — Plutarch, attempting to cheer Katniss up about Peeta's condition.
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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  Auroura76 on Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:07 am

I wouldn't say I loved it, but I thought it was really, really good, and as good an adaptation as I could have hoped for. That sounds negative, but I actually really mean it -- I think on the whole, they did a great job of staying true to the book, and where they had to edit, it was very clear why they had to do so.

I think those of you who pointed out the stakes felt like less covered my general feeling, but I also wish the politics had been covered more; or at least, the story of Panem. The intro was not enough. I went with my parents, neither of whom who read the book, and I had to explain a lot for them. They seemed to enjoy it though.

I still have problems with the casting, but Jennifer Lawrence was pretty awesome, and I just plain like Josh Hutcherson, so, whatever. Woody Harrelson charmed me, but my problem with his casting remains the same -- he felt too young, handsome, and upbeat for the worn down wreck Haymitch was. I felt like Haymitch came alive partway through the book, whereas Woody's Haymitch was just winking at me from the beginning.

Elizabeth Banks was great (SOOOO glad they didn't pick Cheno for Effie, ugh), and Stanley Tucci stole the show. He was perfect. Having said that, some of the interview stuff he did with Katniss and Peeta just did not have the same impact as they did in the book. I don't know what they could have done, but it just felt off.

I could have done less with the Gamemakers POV. I knew we had to get some in the movies, but I haven't been particularly thrilled about it. The shots to Snow and Crane seemed especially weird.

Spoiler:
The bit at the end with Seneca and the berries actually made me gasp. I thought that actually one-upped the book.

I SO agree with this. This was awesome. Katniss just blows by it in the second book; I remember reading it a few months back, and was like, "Wait, what?" I even remember wondering why they case someone like Wes Bentley in the role, but seeing how they expanded it makes sense. AND, whoever pointed out the bit about the effigy for the next book -- good point! That totally makes sense.

Overall, a solid adaptation, and I have to eat some crow for all my endless bitching. Not 100% perfect, but better than I expected, for sure.

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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  Menshevixen on Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:09 pm

I really liked it. I loved all the expansion of POV with the Gamemakers and Seneca--it really rammed the point home to see people casually creating forest fires and setting mutts on the battlefield. Very creepy.

My boyfriend saw it with me and liked it, though he hasn't read any of the books. I took great evil pleasure in telling him more about the mutts after the film was over.

Best thing heard exiting the theatre: "That made me really want to read the books!" YES MA'AM.
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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  RiverThames on Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:21 pm

inversed wrote:
When we were walking out, this kid was like, "There were eight things wrong with that movie." Future Comic Book Guy in the making!

A friend of my son's was going, "It SUCKED. Her backpack was the wrong color!"
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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  biakbiak on Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:01 pm

Racists like The Hunger Games-except when their reading comprehension skills fail them and they are shocked to discover that Rue was black!


Last edited by biakbiak on Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  laddical on Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:10 pm

That is so disturbing. I shouldn't be surprised, and yet I am.
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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  Instant Monkeys on Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:20 pm

I just read that and I CAN'T EVEN BELIEVE IT. And it's a double whammy, too, because these racist mouthbreathers who feel the movie is "ruined" by Rue being black or that
Spoiler:
her death isn't sad anymore because she's black
ALSO CAN'T READ BECAUSE IT CLEARLY SAYS IN THE BOOK THAT RUE IS BLACK (or at least that she has dark skin).

I shouldn't be surprised, and yet I am.
Same here.
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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  laddical on Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:30 pm

What gets me is the people now trying to defend themselves by turning it back on Collins - saying that it was racist of Collins to make Rue black since Rue was from the agrarian South and therefore her being black is stereotypical. What?

And people complaining that Ross was racist to have so many black actors in the District 11 riot.

Not enough "What the fuck, asshole?" in the world.
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Re: The Hunger Games

Post  PrincessCleo on Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:26 pm

It actually made sense to me to have a district that looked kind of segregated from the others (although it was a mixed crowd), because it seemed like one more way for the Capitol to turn the districts against each other. This or that district isn't like YOU, you don't want to join them to do anything, etc.
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Re: The Hunger Games

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