MT At The Movies

MOVIE REVIEW: THE HUNGER GAMES

The Hunger Games

Director: Gary Ross
Screenplay: Gary Ross & Billy Ray

Cast:

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark
Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne
Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy
Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket
Lenny Kravitz as Cinna
Wes Bentley as Seneca Crane
Toby Jones as Claudius Tempesmith

TRT: 142 minutes, (PG-13)  for intense thematic violent material and disturbing images—all involving teens

Peacock Feathers: 4 1/2 out of 5

By: Marcus Thorpe

Initial Thought:

Take that Twilight!  The Hunger Games is the latest in the book to film hard-core following right behind Harry Potter, and Bella, Jacob, and Edward.  I went in once again without reading a single page of The Hunger Games, so my eyes were wide open, not knowing what I was walking into.  WOW, The Hunger Games gets it right, it is compelling, shot perfectly, the acting is so much more than you will ever expect, there is passion, there is compassion, and knowing that there is more to come, I can’t wait!

Plot:

It is a brand new world, and it is a scary one at that.  12 districts, and each divided by lines of poverty.  In District 12, there is not much food, it is a mining town, but they have to be involved in something most wish never existing.  The Hunger Games are a yearly occurrence.  Each district has to put up a teenage boy and girl to enter the games.  The names are chosen at random, and the number of times their names are in the hopper are based on how much you took from your district in the year.  For some they could be in there once, others up to 40.  For Katniss Everdeen, she is a survivor.  She has lost her father, helped raise her little sister after her mother showed she was not going to be able to bounce back from the death of her husband.  We have now made it to the day the selections are made.  These are lotteries you don’t want to win.  Of the 24 that get chosen, they are put into a forest type setting with weapons, and it is the last boy or girl standing.  That’s right; it is everyone for themselves, death from the elements or from each other.  Katniss offers herself up after her younger sister gets chosen.  Instead of watching her get marched off to a certain death, Katniss steps up, but does she have a chance.  Along the way she sees things she never thought, from a fan base that is hungry for death, to teens showing their true colors from helping to killing to falling in love.  The only question left, who will be left standing?

Acting:

Did you see the first few Twilight movies; did you watch the first few Harry Potter movies??  Look I understand they are young, but the acting in the first few of those films was pretty awful!!  Here, you can’t find one actor who doesn’t knock your socks off.  We start with Jennifer Lawrence, she is amazing!  As Katniss, she has to be strong, strong for her family, strong for herself, and she really has to be the character you buy into for this film to have a chance.  You can’t help but root for her, and she never misses a step.  She takes on the physical expectations for a film like this, but she does it effortlessly, she has to be caring and tender in spots too, again, flawless, it is about as good as you can get from a role that demands a lot, and she over delivers.  Josh Hutcherson is her mate from District 12.  While he can’t stand up to Lawrence’s lofty standards, he isn’t shabby.  Every character has something unique to bring.  From Woody Harrelson as the former Hunger Games winner, who is now fighting a battle with alcohol while trying to help these young people to win themselves, to Elizabeth Banks as the over-the-top Effie Trinket, to rocker Lenny Kravitz who delivers an incredible performance as a fashion designer to these young teens about to go into battle.  Casting director’s everywhere should take notice; this was a perfect cast that made this movie GREAT!!

Direction & Writing:

Unlike the Twilight series, this story has some teeth.  It is not just werewolves VS vampires as the window dressing for a teen angst love story.  Here is a juicy, loaded storyline with a little of the teen love and angst mixed in as the window dressing.  The action is intense, the writers and director find a way to suck you in, and to make you feel what it would be like if this were in fact reality.  That is what you should try to do right, take the audience out of their element and transport them to a world that is new and foreign, and downright scary.  They take care with lines, like the main character telling her friend that she is not having babies, because she wouldn’t want them to go through this, to alliances and allegiances forming while the game is played.  The editing in this film is some of the best you are likely to see all year.  It couldn’t have been an easy movie to shoot, direct, or edit.  But it is seamless from start to finish, the colors and characters are perfect.  Best known for his hand in writing Tom Hanks’ “Big” all those years ago, Gary Ross helped write and direct this one, and he hits it out of the park.  He lets each character develop, even those that play smaller roles, and he lets those young characters shine, and it must have been easy as good as they all are!


Overall:

I can’t say enough good things about The Hunger Games.  It surprised me, it inspires you, and it gives you plenty of action.  There is one part about 3/4’s of the way through when a love story starts to bloom, but the writers and directors don’t hang on it for too long, and they find an interesting way to tie in back into people in each district watching it at home, much like a soap opera.  The subject matter is pretty heavy, so I’m not sure how ready some 10-14 year olds will be.  I mean these are young people, killing other young people, that won’t be easy to take for some I’d guess.  The best part about this movie, it delivers over the hype.  All too often you get this huge build up, people that are clamoring for the release, only to walk away saying, I waited and got so excited for that?  You won’t be saying that here! Instead, my guess is you will walk about and immediately say: I’m hungry for more!!


MT

Want to see movies where I do??  Check out showtimes to the Arena Grand at http://www.arenagrand.com by clicking the link!

So what did you think?  Comment on my blog, or give the movie your grade below!

image Posted by  on 03/23 at 12:38 PM

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